Description of the picture:
Portrait of Prince Alexander Borisovich Kurakin – Borovikovsky. Canvas, oil. Two hundred and fifty nine x 100 70 5 cm
Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky is a recognizable and universally recognized master of portraits at the imperial courts of Catherine the Great and Paul I. His writing style is light, airy, in pleasant palettes. The whole Russian nobility since then, dignitaries and their families have longed to be impressed for posterity specifically at Borovikovsky.
“Portrait of Prince A. B. Kurakin”, painted in one thousand eight hundred and one years, is a classic since then, a role model, a masterpiece of portraiture. And not only thanks to the impressive dimensions of the canvas, but, mainly, on the mastery of execution.
Municipal leader Kurakin Alexander Borisovich is depicted in a ceremonial production portrait, widespread in the eighteenth century.
The face of Prince Kurakin gives him a huge lover of luxury and pleasures, a condescending look – knowing for himself the value of a wealthy aristocrat. Borovikovsky introduced the prince in all his own splendor, in the literal and figurative sense. At court, he was even called “our diamond prince.”
And these words were not unfounded. A competent and lucky diplomat, prominent figure, vice chancellor, chief-stalmeister, senator, a man who deserved and was appreciated by the monarchs. Accordingly, brilliant merit for the service, which you won’t even fit on his chest, a secured camisole embroidered with gold, expensive ribbons, even shoes crowned with stones, his whole image makes him feel luxurious and magnificent. Everything that the creator depicted on the canvas behind Kurakin also has its own meaning.
Nearby on the armchair a cloak was discarded carelessly, with the golden regalia sewn with the Order of the Knights of Malta, on the other side of the window you can see the Mikhailovsky Palace.
To the right on a table covered with velvet, emphasizing the importance of Kurakin as a municipal spouse, the creator depicts papers, a pen and an inkwell. Above this stands a bust of snow-white marble from the ruler of Paul I.
The theme dedicated to Paul I in the picture is also not easy. The fact is that in childhood Kurakin and the majestic Prince Pavel Petrovich were brought up together, under the supervision and mentorship of Uncle Kurakin – Panin Nikita Ivanovich. And, of course, children’s attachments grew into completely friendly affairs.
Naturally, Borovikovsky managed to fit the ruler into the canvas: both the beloved residence of Paul I – the Mikhailovsky Palace, and the mantle, because Paul was the Great Master of the Order of the Maltese, and a bust the size of almost the size of Kurakin himself.
Looking at the canvas, the artist’s idea becomes clear – to show a comfortable, influential at the court, an authoritative, high-ranking nobleman. For this, the entire surrounding entourage, details of the palace interior, are used. Indeed, such a recognizable municipal person simply cannot look anywhere even more stately than in the walls of the palace."