Costume portrait of D. G. Levitsky - US art of the 18th century

Costume portrait of D. G. Levitsky

Two works, performed by D. G. Levitsky in the 1780s, stand apart in a series of portraits of this period. Actually, they can not be called chambered. The first is the portrait of the daughter of the artist, Agafia Dmitrievna, often referred to as the "portrait of Agashi" (1783, the State United States Museum, 1785, the State Tretyakov Gallery), externally a direct tribute to sentimentalism. It is believed that the portrait was written in the wedding year of Agash (1785), as evidenced by bread and salt on the table. However, there is an earlier version (1783, RM) with the same attributes. Meanwhile, it is reliably known that the daughter of Levitsky married the "senate printing house of the director's assistant to the college secretary" AM Andreev precisely in 1785. Hence, it would be most correct to assume that "Agash" - staging according to the program of "the class of home exercises": a female figure in national clothes with the appropriate attributes. Such statements (without posing the daughter, of course) could easily put Levitsky in his class.

Generated slice, the interior of the interior, the festivity of the national costume make a portrait, in fact, a front door. The invoice of different materials was perfectly transferred. The combination of the turquoise tone of the sarafan with the pink soul-shower seems surprisingly bold. The well-known art critic AA Sidorov enthusiastically compared the letter of Agasha's hands with the Renoir. However, we acknowledge that the image itself is deprived of the charisma that is characteristic of the youthful portraits of Levitsky at an earlier time. It seems strange, remembering how close the model was to him. There is something puppet, porcelain, lifeless in the face of ruddy Agashi, something illustrative in the portrait itself, which seems a picturesque accompaniment to a sentimental novel.

The second of these works - a portrait of Favst Petrovich Makerovsky in a fancy dress (1789, TG). In old studies about Levitsky, it was believed that the models here are 18 years old, and so everyone was amazed both by the smallness of his growth and by the childish appearance. But Makrovsky was born not in 1771, but in 1780. In the portrait, a nine-year-old boy, who still has a military career ahead of him, service in the Horse Guards and the Nevsky Musketeers Regiment, and the militia of 1812, and the work "on the mountain side" in the Moscow Mining Department, etc.

Portrait of Levitsky - costume image. Makrovsky is represented in a velvet caftan, drawn by a wide silk belt with a huge bow. Against the backdrop of a dark night sky, some gray-green darkness with a flash of light, the red color, reddened several times in clothes: in a fluttering raincoat, in pompons of shoes, in a hat, and more muffledly - in pantaloons is strikingly piercing. Because of the tantalizing red color and the lead-heavy, non-accentuated details, but no longer neutral background, on which this lone, discharged figure is located, a restless-anxious, rather than masquerade-festive feeling is created. With regard to the portrait of Makrovsky used the term romanticism & quot ;. But if so, this is a very conditional "romanticism": in the image there is no fusion with the landscape, nor, on the contrary, confrontation with nature, the boy's face is absolutely indifferent, without any emotions, and the romantic work primarily means contrasts and strength of feelings .

Agash and Makarovsky appeared in the 1780s. in the works of Levitsky is not accidental. It was during these years that the artist introduces the type of portrait that researchers call intermediate between chamber and front. In this portrait there is a lot of brilliance, virtuosity in the transmission is always a festive costume; he represents models of a certain social status. At the same time, as a rule, these are portraits, sometimes inscribed in an oval, with a minimum of accessories, which is not typical for ceremonial portraits. A distinctive feature of these works is the lack of poetization of the model, the desire to penetrate into its spiritual life.

The portrait of Praskovia Nikolaevna Repnina (1781, RM) opens this series, but the most expressive are the portraits of Ursula Mniszek and the actress Anna Davaia Burnoutzi (both 1782, the State Tretyakov Gallery). The wife of the Lithuanian crown marshal, the niece of the Polish king Stanislav Poniatowski, Mnishek, nee Zamoyskaya, was an educated, intelligent, not alien literary interests (she left an entertaining memoir) a brilliant socialite. But the artist chooses only this last quality for his portrait, and in the virtuosic scenic maestriya we have only the image of a secular lioness. Equally unequivocal is the description of Anna Davia Bernuzzi, "the first singer of the opera buff and the second singer of a serious opera", which, since 1782, served in the St. Petersburg theaters and expelled (for the time being) from St. Petersburg for the ruin of a high-ranking state man A. A. Bezborodko. She is represented in the portrait in the image of "beautiful gardener", but neither a straw hat, nor a basket with flowers, pencils and laces do not give her appearance either freshness or charm. Her black-browed densely bruised face has a lot of hidden power and cunning, which allows some researchers to call her an adventurer. The sophisticated decorativeness of the entire picturesque building of these portraits speaks of the artist's highest skill. It's absurd to see in their letter the influence of IB Lampi the Elder or Marie-Louise Vigee-Lebrun, as some art historians did: portraits were written nine years before Lampi arrived in St. Petersburg and 13 before Vigee-Lebrun.

Written in a completely different way, materially illusory, materially, these portraits still somehow similar to the works of Rokotov, performed in those same years: the same secular half-smile, his eyes are also slightly blinked, but not almond-shaped, like Rokotov's, and "crayfish", shiny, a little bit dizzy, and just as lightly powdered hair melts in the twilight. The main thing here is the same "veil", the barrier between the model and the viewer, between the model and the artist. Although, of course, everything is written in a very peculiar way, in its own way, as Levitsky was able to do. These portraits are characterized by enamel smooth writing, elegant color, decorative refinement (according to some researchers, decorative delights are even somewhat redundant).

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