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Levitsky painted a picture in 1783.
The viewer can imagine the features of the portrait during the period of classicism. We can understand the features of art, its symbolism and allegory. Catherine is in the temple of the goddess of Justice herself. She burns poppy flowers on a special altar. Instead of a crown on the head of the empress, a laurel crown. The Order of St. Vladimir says. That Catherine did a lot for the country. This is also evidenced by the books that lie at her feet. It is truth.
In this grandiose portrait, the main features of classicism were clearly manifested. First of all, these are very saturated colors. Cold tones prevail here. You can feel the division into several plans in space. The forms are sculptural. They are as restrained and plastic at the same time. The artist skillfully uses allegory tricks. We see Catherine in white satin clothing.
Before us is a real woman of ancient times. She moves smoothly, and smiles very friendly. That should be the leader of a strong country. To create a magnificent effect, certain details were used: the carpet is slightly shifted, the pale yellow satin shimmers, and a luxurious ermine mantle is visible.
Levitsky created an image that idealizes Catherine as much as possible. In it, he laid down the idea that the monarch reigns only for the people and he lives according to the laws that exist in the state.
The content of the picture is non-portrait. This brings her closer to the historical canvases of that time. This portrait is allegorical. To portray the real sovereign, confirmation was necessary in the form of allegories and symbols. Levitsky strove for reliability.
Before us is not just a portrait, but an idea. The artist gives a peculiar mandate to the Empress. That is how the noble intelligentsia imagined monarchical power in its ideal form.