Paintings

Description of the painting by Dmitry Levitsky “Portrait of Vorontsova”


The canvas was painted in 1783, today it is in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Levitsky was distinguished by a special approach to the drawing of female silhouettes. He competently emphasized their tenderness and grace, which later became his characteristic feature.

When working with portraits, the artist always remained objective in order to convey to the image the real characteristic features of the model. In this case, we are talking about a certain sadness and a share of fatigue that is read in the look and smile of Vorontsova.

Levitsky's father at one time became a mentor for the artist, investing in his son a love of art and helping him acquire his own characteristic features as a creator. Members of the Vorontsov family were well acquainted with the artist. He repeatedly painted portraits of spouses and their daughters. Ekaterina Alekseevna Vorontsova, the heiress of Admiral Senyavin, sits on the canvas.

She was the wife of Count Sergei, who was the Russian ambassador to Italy. Their happy marriage did not last long: in the late 1780s, the countess dies in Italy, leaving her beloved husband with two children, son Michael and daughter Katya. In the portrait itself, she is depicted with the maid of honor Catherine 2 along the ribbon. She is presented in a golden dress with a deep neckline, which was typical for noble women of that time, magnificent hair is pulled back.

The artist played with light, placing it mainly on the silhouette of Vorontsova, leaving behind darkened areas of the background. Thus, the creator achieved the effect of greatness of the personality, focusing the attention of the viewer on her person. Levitsky paid special attention to her along with the exclusion of jewelry. As contemporaries wrote, Catherine was angular and constrained, which the artist skillfully conveyed. The look reads embarrassment, but at the same time, an understanding of her feminine beauty.





Bruegel Peter

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