Description of the painting by Orest Kiprensky “Portrait of Avdulina”

Description of the painting by Orest Kiprensky “Portrait of Avdulina”

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Russian artist Kiprensky in 1823 completed work on a portrait of a woman, who later became one of the best in the genre of romanticism. He wrote in Paris to Ekaterina Avdulin, the wife of a major general who was a big fan of social balls and meeting people of art.

The picture gives the impression of poetry and some sadness. A partial similarity with Gioconda Leonardo is recognized: nature outside the window, hands folded in the same way. The colors of the canvas are surprisingly laconic: dramatic jet black combined with warm mustard. A vase on a windowsill with a fading stalk of white hyacinth complements the gloomy elegiac atmosphere.

The landscape outside the window is represented by a small section of a verdant grove and a whirling view of gray, purple thunderclouds. Against this background, Catherine’s face seems even more fragile, defenseless. In her eyes is read the soul of the heroine, a kind of internal breakdown. She herself is dressed in a black velvet dress and an expensive shawl embroidered with small ornaments. On a strong neck, beads of large pearls gleam. In hand - a folded fan. Amazingly realistic feminine hands are written. The face is framed by a yellow bow and a beautiful transparent openwork rim.

The lady seems to the viewer to be detached, closed, silent, not wanting to reveal the riddles of her heart. But the artist, it seems, managed to read her soul. The contemporaries of the master recognized that the character of Catherine was unusually accurately conveyed, that feature of nature that distinguishes her from other people was captured. Today, of course, it is impossible to verify the similarity with the original, however, this fact does not interfere with the genius of the portrait.

The ability of Kiprensky to masterfully compose the play of light and shadow, to balance the composition with objects, to make it restrained in colors and unnecessarily verbose in describing spiritual content makes the portrait admire.

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