PETROVSKY PERIOD OF RUSSIAN PAINTING
In the painting of Peter the Great, a sharp leap from the old to the new is especially noticeable, manifested in the study of European traditions in the shortest time possible and acquaintance with the experience of foreign artistic styles accumulated over centuries.
With the beginning of the XVIII century, an important role in painting begins to play oil painting and secular plot. “In ancient times, princes and boyars occasionally allowed visiting“ Germans ”to write off their“ appearance ”, but starting from the end of the XVII century and especially the XVIII portrait is included in real fashion, and who only can order the“ personal master ”to write off themselves and their loved ones.” Among the numerous easel paintings, murals and miniatures, the main place is given to the portrait in all varieties: parade and chamber, chest and in growth.
At the same time, there was a special interest in the person being portrayed. Already in the “Preobrazhenskaya Series” of portraits, which for a long time were considered images of royal jesters due to the participation of the characters represented in them in such a “council” as “The Most Injured Madman Cathedral of the Most Commented Prince-Dad”, the artist’s attention to the “appearance” of heroes and even additional attributes (Neptune’s trident, Alexey Vasilyev’s still life). However, in these portraits there is still a lot of parsun. “This is the last, final chord of ancient Russian painting.”
In the portrait with the signature “IVAN SHCHEPOTEV” the character is placed in a three-quarter spread, the look is directed to the right. The image is inscribed in the oval. Before us is the waist image of the portrait. The artist, following the traditions of the school of the Armory, not bad conveys the character of his character. It is worth noting the rather realistic manner in the presentation of the face and the lack of embellishment of the character. According to the accompanying annotation to the portrait of the State Tretyakov Gallery, we are a solicitor, the closest associate of Peter I. The portrait is dressed in a red-brown caftan. Judging by the presence of the beard of the character, it can be concluded that the portrait refers to the first cycle of the “Preobrazhenskaya Series”, i.e. executed before the Petrovsky decree “to shave a beard in the European manner.”
Among the pictorial flaws of the portrait of the “Preobrazhenskaya Series” there is a clearly visible inability to show the depth of space, to simulate the volume of the form, as well as the lack of anatomical correctness in the depiction of the human body and the difficulty in solving the cut-off problem.
“Preobrazhenskaya series” – an attempt to break away from the proto-portrait situation in the form of a parsuna and move on to solving portrait problems.
It amazes the imagination of how many Russian artists will need to master, what an incredible leap to make in perfecting their skills, so that from the “Preobrazhenskaya series” of the last decade of the XVII century come to Nikitinsky portrait like a portrait of Tsarevna Anna Petrovna (1716). Such a qualitative rise in only twenty years!
ARTIST NIKITIN IVAN NIKITICH
I.N. Nikitin is called one of the first Russian portrait painters. You can talk about him as the greatest artist of the Peter I era, one of the founders of the new Russian painting. Before us is a work related to the early work of the painter, a portrait written before his four-year pensioner’s trip to Italy. With skill that is not typical of his time, the artist conveys the volume and natural pose of the girl. A portrait of the oval format is placed in the appropriate frame. The girl depicted stands almost in full face, the look is directed slightly to the side. Before us is a full-front dress portrait, in the model’s presentation there are all the attributes of the official symbolism of a crowned woman: from hairstyle and costume to facial expression. On the porter is not a child, but a small adult, which is dictated by the selected image format.
Let us turn to the shortcomings, on this canvas a certain simplification of the model’s figure peeps out: the silhouette is as if snatched from the darkness of an indefinite space by a bright light and is not in communication with the environment. The painter still unprofessionally depicts the anatomical structure of the girl’s figure and ineptly conveys the texture of the material – scarlet velvet, brocade and lace of the dress, and the ermine mantle fur. The fragile folds of the mantle are somewhat reminiscent of Old Russian spaces.
The girl’s hands are completely hidden by the notorious drape of heavy attire. According to Whipper, the absence of one hand is contrary to classical clarity. “Baroque avoids maximum clarity. He does not want to speak to the end in cases where a particular can be guessed. Moreover: beauty is not at all tied up now with utmost clarity, but is transferred to forms that contain a certain element of incomprehensibility and always, as it were, elude the viewer. Interest in the minted form is replaced by an interest in unlimited visibility, full of movement. ” The style is dictated by the underlined decorativeness of the canvas, which is reflected in the flatness of the background and color saturation.