Paintings

Description of Valentin Serov's painting “Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova”


The portrait of Princess Zinaida Nikolaevna Yusupova, painted at the very beginning of the 20th century, was created by the artist by order of the princess herself. At that time, Valentin Serov was already widely known among noble people as a talented and peculiar painter; many were ready to order a personal portrait from him, but Serov himself did not approve of their desires, considering them unnecessarily “swaggering and rich.” However, the beauty Yusupova was an exception for the artist: by Serov’s own admission, in this princess he saw not only an outwardly attractive, but also a moral, kind woman, besides not alien to art.

Indeed, Zinaida Nikolaevna Yusupova appreciated art in its various manifestations. Playing in amateur home performances, she delighted the audience with her game. The heiress of a fabulous state, she donated a lot to support fine art, including providing money in favor of the Museum of Fine Arts. Zinaida Yusupova was considered a woman with a good education and manners, perfectly suited to her high status.

The critic S. Goloushev gave a very high assessment to the portrait of Yusupova: according to him, the princess depicted in the picture carries an almost standard image of a representative of high society who can keep herself at a height, away from anything that could belittle her honor. Goloushev called her the marquise of his time.





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