To continue with the studies of phenomena that took place during The Meaning of Life: Immortality program, the painting in the background (marked with an arrow in the image above) deserves special attention. Our search has shown that it’s a mysterious painting by Anastasia Novykh (or its copy), which depicts the genuine appearance of Reverend Agapit of Pechersk, the Unmercenary Physician – the first doctor-monk who lived in Kievan Rus in the 11th century AD. The true appearance of this Saint was restored in 1986 by a Moscow criminology expert Sergey Nikitin, according to the method of Mikhail Gerasimov, based on anthropological examination of Agapit’s relics that are currently kept in the Near Caves of Kiev Pechersk Lavra.
It is also known that the painting has been publicly exhibited only once – on 16 January 2011 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in the former house of the famous Slavic nobleman and Maecenas Semen Mogilevtsev, located in the Ukrainian capital city Kiev, on 17/2 Shovkovychna Street and currently referred to as the Chocolate House. The mansion itself is decorated with enigmatic signs and symbols and conceals numerous unsolved riddles for true Seekers. The one-day exhibition was attended by nearly 3,000 people from different countries, which is indicative of an unprecedented interest to the painting.
However, the painting has been never exhibited since then, and its owner and current location are unknown. For all that, there are plenty of images on the web with this painting or rather its copies photographed in different parts of the globe, which is quite amazing. Why is the painting so popular, and why do so many people in different countries know about it? Which secrets and phenomena have drawn attention to this painting of so many people of various religions, nationalities, social status and age within such a short period of time, having made them come to the exhibition from other lands and even continents?
While examining the painting and collecting facts in media and in reviews of those who attended the exhibition, we have noted that Saint Agapit of Pechersk is most probably portrayed against a background of the left bank of Dnieper. Hence, He is standing on the right bank, obviously in the place where the Near Caves are situated nowadays. On some images we can discern mysterious raised symbols on the painting. Furthermore, according to some sources, the reverse side of the canvas might possibly contain a sacred treasure – a historical manuscript of Saint Agapit of Pechersk (among other things, this is evidenced by distinctive traces on the canvas which are noticeable from a certain perspective).
It has been ascertained that A. Novykh’s painting was painted in an ancient impasto or relief art technique, owing to which the image became vivid and multidimensional. Due to the canvas relief, the visual angle and the play of reflected light, there arises a volumetric image that is differently perceived every time you look at it and, against or due to the laws of optics, as if goes beyond the frame, bringing viewers into an unusual state of perception and granting an experience of seeing the illusiveness of our habitual world. The first thing you perceive is Agapit’s unusual gaze, as if penetrating your very soul. For somebody His gaze is kind and spiritualizing, for others it is stern. Some people say the Saint Elder looks at them from the painting; for others He looks as a young or middle-aged man, while still others see just a face flooded with dazzling light. The expression on the face of Reverend Agapit changes according to one’s inner state and feelings. He communicates with everyone personally, giving nonverbal sensory answers to the innermost internal questions and deep inner needs that people sometimes perceive only vaguely. In the lower part of the painting there are words written in golden letters in Russian and translated as:
My True Father,
I set my hopes upon You, the One,
And I only ask You, God,
For my soul salvation.
Let Your Holy will be done.
Those who attended the exhibition say the words of this prayer awake one after the internal sleep. Eventually the words abate and cede to an inexpressible gamut of feelings that are beyond this world. Many have experienced a state which the ancients called “amazement in silence”, and at a certain instant living Agapit becomes a door between the three-dimensional habitual space and other, yet unknown dimensions, inviting everybody into the spiritual world. Everyone who attended the exhibition “communicated” in their own way with Agapit of Pechersk portrayed by Anastasia Novykh. By the way, similar feelings are experienced when you look at any copy of this painting, even if it is printed on a little calendar or flyer. Thus, it is not the play of light and colours that is important, but rather the salutary power coming from the Saint’s face to each person who sincerely addresses Him.
The name of this miraculous power is the Holy Spirit! At that, it is interesting that those who experienced such phenomena of the image of Agapit of Pechersk at the exhibition and on copies of the painting have noted the presence of the same miraculous power of the Holy Spirit while viewing the programs with Igor Danilov A Frank Dialogue about the Most Important and The Meaning of Life: Immortality! Is it a coincidence?
Taking into account the unquestionable resemblance between the sculptural portrait of Agapit of Pechersk by Sergey Nikitin, the painted portrait of Agapit of Pechersk by Anastasia Novykh and the living face of Igor Danilov, the participant of the aforesaid TV programs, more questions actually arise than there are answers provided above.
Let’s draw our own, independent conclusions!
Prepared by Vladimir Svetlov