Saint Olga, also called Helga or Saint Olga of Kiev, (born c. 890—died 969, Kiev), was the first recorded female ruler in Russia and the first member of the ruling family of Kiev to adopt Christianity. She was canonized as the first Russian saint of the Orthodox Church and is the patron saint of widows and converts.
Having graduated from the seminary, Viktor decided to move to Saint Petersburg to study art. He auctioned his paintings, in order to raise money required for the trip to the Russian capital. In August 1867 Viktor entered the Imperial Academy of Arts.
He won a bronze medal at the World Fair in London (1874).
In 1876 Viktor moved to Paris where he studied classical and contemporary paintings, academist and Impressionist alike.
In the late 1870s Vasnetsov concentrated on illustrating Russian fairy tales and the epic narrative poem Bylinas, executing some of his best known pieces.
In 1884-1889 Vasnetsov was commissioned to paint frescos in the St Vladimir's Cathedral of Kiev. This was a challenging work which ran contrary to both Russian and Western traditions of religious paintings. More on Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov
Little is known about her life before her marriage to Prince Igor I of Kiev and the birth of their son, Svyatoslav.
Like all rising empires, Kievan Rus’ had grown at the expense of its neighbours and one tribe, the Drevlians, had grown wary of their smothering embrace.
The relationship between the Drevlians and Kievan Rus’ was complex – they had joined the Rus’ in military campaigns against the Byzantine Empire and paid tribute to Igor’s predecessors, but stopped in 912 when the previous prince died and instead paid this glorified protection money to a local warlord.
Igor’s attempted to restore his privileges in 945 with a trip to their capital of Iskorosten, in Northern Ukraine. This visit was a slap in the face and the Drevlians fought back, seizing the prince and murdering him in a gristly display. They had bent down two birch trees to the prince’s feet and tied them to his legs, then they let the trees straighten again, thus tearing the prince’s body apart.
Olga was the widow of Igor I, prince of Kiev. Because Igor’s son Svyatoslav was still a minor, Olga became regent of the grand principality of Kiev from 945 to 964.
The Drevians thought they were dealing with just another demure noblewoman who could be easily cowed and arrange to marry her to their own Prince Mal. Not only would they be free from paying tribute to the Kievan Rus’ – they would rule the Kievan Rus’.
The Drevians sent 20 of their best men to try and persuade Olga to marry the living symbol of her husband’s murder. Telling them to wait in their boat, she had a ditch dug and next morning had had the emissaries buried alive.
Fyodor (Fidelio) Antonovich Bruni (10 June 1799, in Milan – 30 August 1875, in Saint Petersburg) was a Russian artist of Italian descent who worked in the Academic style.
His father, Antonio, was a Swiss Italian painter and art restorer who relocated to Russia in 1800 to work on a project at Saint Michael's Castle for Tsar Paul I. At the age of ten, he was enrolled at the Imperial Academy of Arts.He graduated in 1818 with the title "Artist Class XIV".
His father sent him for further studies in Italy. At the age of twenty-two, he created his first large-scale work. Ten years later, when the painting was shown in Saint Petersburg for the first time, it earned him the title of Academician. He was recalled to Saint Petersburg to work on a project at Saint Isaac's Cathedral and teach at the Academy. He arrived in 1836 and produced several works for the Kazan Cathedral as well.
In 1838, he was able to return to Rome to finish his work . Two years later hemoved to Saint Petersburg where it was exhibited in one of the halls of the newly restored Winter Palace. Returning to Rome for a third time from 1841 to 1845, he produced twenty-five sketches that would be the basis for frescoes at Saint Isaac's Cathedral.
In 1849, he became the custodian of the gallery at the Hermitage Museum and was sent abroad twice to acquire paintings for the collection there. Six years later, he became Rector of the Department of Sculpture and Painting at the Academy.
By the time of his death, he was an honorary Professor at the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. More on Bruni, Fyodor Antonovich
Olga sent word back to Prince Mal that should would accept his proposal, but only if the Drevians sent a part of their great and good to accompany her back to their territory, after all it was important that the proud Keivan Rus’ see just how important this matchmaking was.
Despite not having heard from either of the missions they’d dispatched to Olga’s court, the Drevians set about preparing the feast and after drinking themselves insensible on mead, Olga’s soldiers put 5,000 of them to the sword.
Olga returned to Kiev to prepare an army, and then finished off the survivors.
In the 950s, Olga traveled to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, to visit Emperor Constantine VII. Once in Constantinople, Olga converted to Christianity with the assistance of the Emperor and the Patriarch.
Sergei Alekseevich Kirillov (1960 in Moscow, Soviet Union) is a leading modern Russian artist, who is focusing on historical paintings.
In 1984 he graduated from The Surikov Art Institute in Moscow, from the studio of Professor Dmitry Konstantinovich Mochalsky. His graduate work was depicting Peter the Great. His paintings are now regularly published in history classroom books, monographs of The History of Russia, and historical belletristic literature. Since 1987, 24 exhibitions of his paintings have been held in Moscow and other cities in Russia. More on Sergei Kirillov
Olga received the Patriarch's blessing for her journey home, and that once she arrived, she unsuccessfully attempted to convert her son to Christianity. However, her son agreed not to persecute those in his kingdom who did convert.
She was the first ruler of the Kievan Rus’ to adopt Christianity and Olga’s efforts to covert the rest of her people earned her the title Isapóstolos: “Equal to the Apostles.” Olga died from illness in 969.