The painting "Alexander Nevsky" was painted in 1942 in honor of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Peipsi. In the war years, when the topic of patriotism became more relevant than ever, Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich repeatedly turned to the heroic pages of Russian history. His heroic cycle included such works as “Yaroslav”, “Victory”, “Mstislav Udaloy”, “Boris and Gleb” and others.
The canvas depicts Alexander Yaroslavich, who received the nickname Nevsky for his victory over the Swedes. The picture is striking in bright colors, contrasting and clear lines. The crimson heaven represents the heat of the battle just concluded. In the snow under the hooves of the horses of the victors of the body of defeated enemies - Germans. Pinkish reflections in the snow - not only a reflection of the sky, but also the color of blood mixed and dissolved in snow. Sunset colors and a grayish haze convey the silence of twilight.
The battle is over. The silhouette of Alexander Nevsky, slightly bowed his head. He pulls on the occasion, and the faithful horse crouches, slipping on a steep slope. Having stopped, the prince peers into the face of the fallen Russian warrior. The one in a bright red coat lies on his back, spreading his arms out to the sides, and his face clearly looms against the crimson sky. The soldiers following the prince also stopped in sorrow.
It was not the artist who depicted the joy of victory, but the bitterness and horror of any battle, the price that must be paid for triumph. Nicholas Roerich showed the sorrow of the commander and the army of the dead brothers. The chosen plot emphasizes the peculiarities of the sensitive soul of a Russian person who knows how to feel sorry and compassion.
Willem De Kooning Woman III