The Russian History Museum is proud to announce the completion of the conservation treatment of a work in its collection, “Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane,” by the Russian-American artist Constantin Alexandrovich Westchiloff (b. St. Petersburg 1878 – d. New York 1945).
Westchiloff studied under Ilya Repin at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg from 1898. His painting, “Ivan the Terrible After the Triumph of Kazan” won an academy award in 1904. He studied at the Royal Academy in London in 1905-06 and exhibited “Breakthrough of the Cruiser Askold in 1904 in the Yellow Sea,” which depicted a critical moment in the Russo-Japanese War. Westchiloff fled the Soviet Union in 1922, emigrating first to Italy, then France, and finally to New York, where he became known primarily for his seascapes and landscapes.
“Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane” occupies a very rare position in Westchiloff’s work, as it is a religious theme, which is unusual for the artist. The painting had significant structural and condition issues which prevented its display. The conservation of the painting was made possible by the NYSCA/GHHN Conservation Treatment Grant Program administered by Greater Hudson Heritage Network with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.