The present work was presented by George Costakis to the parents of the present owner in 1969 as an expression of the former’s gratitude to the Nyströms for their assistance in obtaining medical assistance for the Costakis family in Stockholm. The Nyströms served at the Royal Swedish Embassy in Moscow from 1957-1961 and then again between 1965-1970.
The family of the present owner and Costakis, by repute, understood the present work to depict the Sermon on the Mount and to express the artist’s vision of the eternal connection between God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and Man. Viewed in this manner, the group with Christ and his apostles, clad in vibrant Central Asian garments, can be interpreted as enclosed within an enlarged red heart, itself placed in the upper torso of a man (God), the suggestion of an arm protectively encircling them and therefore watching over Christ and the group. In keeping with this interpretation, a figure in light blue in the lower right corner is discernable, their back to the viewer, possibly representing the Virgin Mary looking on.
We are grateful to the Volkov family for their assistance in cataloguing the present work.