Portrait of a Philosopher by Lyubov Popova

Portrait of a Philosopher by Lyubov Popova

The picture was created in a cubist manner. Despite all the conventions inherent in this style, it amazes with its psychology.

The picture is easily recognizable portrait image of a man. The face is reincarnated, but one feels energetic in nature and intellectual concentration. At the same time, seriousness is brightened up with ironic details, such as nifty antennae, top hat, white shirt front, glass, curved lips in a skeptical smile.

The pictorial solution chosen by Popova is quite original: using planes, it forms the model’s body, and the surrounding space is probed with the help of protrusions.

Thus, a holistic image of a person is created, the distinctions between objectivity and intangible air are erased. In recognition of Popova, her brother Pavel Popov served as the model for this canvas.

The number of the magazine “Revue” distinguished in the picture gives the canvas an element of historical reality. The brightly depicted figure 32 can be likened to a license plate affixed to any subject of factory production, something like a brand that likens a work of art to just “things”.

From this picture the artist began the transition to non-objective art, in which there is no difference between the presence of the form and the lack thereof. The whole image is restless, it seems to be “rattling” under the viewer’s eye and suggests the shaky, peculiar harmony that reigned in the artist’s soul at the time of the creation of the picture.

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