Nikolai Kalmakov - Narcissus, 1920s 

Well, here is the moment to tell you a bit about Scoptzi - the mysterious Russian sect. In Orthodox Christianity there were a lot of strange sects, especially after the Rascol (“Schism”) of the 17th century.

The main idea of Scoptzi was the denial of categories of sex, gender and of all things connected with physical component of a personality. For Scoptzi all that mattered was a human’s soul.

So, Scoptzi practiced castration of men and women to avoid sexual tension and to demolish the difference between sexes. Scoptzi lived in small communes with very democratic rules, they disobeyed government and Orthodox Church. In religious ceremonies Scoptzi practiced singing and dancing.

In the 19th century ideas of Scoptzi became popular among Russian intelligentsia. They were incorporated in homoerotic culture. Nikolay Kalmakov himself was very interested in Scoptzi, so here is a painting illustrating that interest.