Portrait of an unknown in a cocked hat by Fedor Rokotov

Portrait of an unknown in a cocked hat by Fedor Rokotov

In the house of the Struysky there was a portrait of a young man with delicate features, a magnificent tie and a cape draping a figure.

The image of the unknown in a cocked hat is full of charm of careless youth. The face of a young man with lively dark eyes, a welcoming smile, a delicate and fresh blush conceals a kind of understatement. Facial features are feminine soft. A brilliant triangle hat aggravates, a golden caftan shines through the black transparent masquerade domino, a light foam of lace frill falls on the chest.

On the back of the portrait was a mysterious encrypted inscription. The similarity

of the face of an unknown in a cocked hat with the existing portraits of A. G. Bobrinsky served as a basis for a long time to consider the depicted young man in a dominoes mask to be the son of Catherine II and Count Grigory Orlov, born in 1762 and named and count Bobrinsky. In this case, the portrait could have been painted in the 1780s, to which the very nature of the painting does not contradict.

However, with the help of X-rays and special studies, it was possible to prove that in fact the portrait depicts a woman with Tatar facial features and is written over her “unknown in a cocked hat”. Both in the first and in the second case, the artist Rokotov wrote the same person – the first wife of the Struysky Olympiad, who died in childbirth. Apparently, Nikolai Yeremeyevich ordered to remake a woman into a man, so as not to embarrass the tender feelings of the new young wife and not arouse her jealousy.

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