"One thing might be said, if you will allow me to make the
remark..." observed Golenishtchev.
"Oh, I shall be delighted, I beg you," said Mihailov with a
"That is, that you make Him the man-god, and not the God-man.
But I know that was what you meant to do."
"I cannot paint a Christ that is not in my heart," said Mihailov
"Yes; but in that case, if you will allow me to say what I
think.... Your picture is so fine that my observation cannot
detract from it, and, besides, it is only my personal opinion.
With you it is different. Your very motive is different. But
let us take Ivanov. I imagine that if Christ is brought down to
the level of an historical character, it would have been better
for Ivanov to select some other historical subject, fresh,
"But if this is the greatest subject presented to art?"
"If one looked one would find others. But the point is that art
cannot suffer doubt and discussion. And before the picture of
Ivanov the question arises for the believer and the unbeliever
alike, 'Is it God, or is it not God?' and the unity of the
impression is destroyed."
"Why so? I think that for educated people," said Mihailov, "the
question cannot exist."
Golenishtchev did not agree with this, and confounded Mihailov by
his support of his first idea of the unity of the impression
being essential to art.
Mihailov was greatly perturbed, but he could say nothing in
defense of his own idea.