“Portrait of Zhukovsky”, Orest Adamovich Kiprensky – description

Description of the picture:

Portrait of Zhukovsky – Orest Adamovich Kiprensky. 1816. Oil on canvas. 64.8 x 58.1 cm

   This portrait strongly emphasizes romanticism, which was the main style of that era and was reflected in all areas of art. The young romantic poet is depicted in an appropriate setting – in the background is shown a gentle translucent landscape with trees, lush wild vegetation and an ancient dilapidated castle that sends us to the era of chivalry.

   The composition of the painting is completely subordinate to the circular shape of the canvas – the poet is depicted in a three-quarter position, in a thoughtful pose, leaning slightly on his arm and looking into the distance. Maybe at this moment he is just considering the plot of his own yet another poetic work, because in his eyes it is clear that he is estranged from the vanity of life.

   The spectrum of the painting is somewhat reminiscent of the portraits of the Renaissance, even the outlines and colors of the landscape in the background seem familiar. There is something like Leonardo da Vinci’s Gioconda – the same transparent strokes and greenish-bluish tones.

   Restrained color palette allows you to focus on the face and eyes of the poet. His skin seems to shine against the background of a dark frock coat, and the affectionate blush is set off by the haze of violently curly hair in a prestigious hairstyle. This is a very beautiful and expressive portrait, preserving to the descendants the appearance of a professional poet and courtier."