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  1. In fact, we know very little about what Filonov himself said about his religious worldview – he did not leave us detailed descriptions of his own works. Nevertheless, we know, thanks to his autobiography, that Pavel Filonov's creative career begins with the execution of iconographic images. So, in 1908-1910, he painted the icon “Saint Catherine”, intended for his sister Ekaterina Nikolaevna.

    And in this icon, for the first time, we see traces of the origin of his creative method: at the feet of St. Catherine lies a flower that resembles some kind of fantasy organic substance.

    In general, iconography, with its disembodied nature and its tendency to depict everything natural in transcendental forms, probably had a great influence on Filonov. However, later on, he will move away from the utmost accuracy in transmitting iconographic details and will create timeless, monumental images, the subjects of which are clearly borrowed from the Holy Scriptures (for example, “The Holy Family”, which in Soviet times was renamed “The Holy Family”).A peasant family”).

    But the most important thing, in my opinion, that Filonov brings to his analytical method from religious ideas is his understanding of death (in a very Christian way) like a rebirth. Death and rebirth, from the complete disintegration of matter into tiny particles (atoms) and up to their acquisition of a second life in the form of fossils, new substances, etc., correspond to Filonov's spiritual death and spiritual rebirth (“Rebirth of the intellectual”). Filonov embodies this idea in his recognizable, “crystal” painting style, bringing the Christian idea of the rebirth of the soul closer to science (in fact, in 1911 Ernst Rotherford created his famous “model of the atom”).

    This spiritual death, according to Filonov, occurs through the experience of the catastrophe of the First World War or the socialist Revolution (“The Formula of the Petrograd Proletariat”), but each ends with a subsequent rebirth or rebirth of the soul (spirituality).

    Following the precepts of Cubism, Filonov “splits” physical matter into many microunits (this, of course, is a tribute to modern science!) in order to depict the organic world on the verge of disintegration, which is destined to resurrect again (very Christian). In this, by the way, there is also something “Boshovian”: as if Filonov, like the artists of the Late Middle Ages, seeks to simultaneously show the world as a universal panorama and, at the same time, demonstrate all its diversity in the smallest details (Northern Renaissance has entered the chat).

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