Portrait of Count F. V. Rostopchin by Orest of Kiprensky

Portrait of Count F. V. Rostopchin by Orest of Kiprensky

The hero of this canvas we know more by the caricature image of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. In fact, the graph was not so one-dimensional – that is the testimony of this portrait.

The artist was a member of the famous Rostopchin salon, collecting all the colors of Moscow at that time, and more than once received countless support and help from the Count. “I work for the glory of Russia…” Kiprensky always felt his belonging to his native country unusually keenly – this, incidentally, is typical for many Russian educated people of the beginning of the XIX century.

Showing

his paintings at foreign exhibitions, the artist acted as an ambassador not just fine art, but Russian fine art, which, in his opinion, had long been worthy to occupy a proper place among other national pictorial schools. The very critical attitude to what is happening in Russia, especially in the 1830s, did not at all detract from his patriotism; they were in Italy, so beloved by them, remained a Russian artist.

At the same time, he did not like screaming at every corner about this: for him was to speak the glory of Russian painting, the multiplication of which Kiprensky devoted his life. Only once, from his tongue, did the recognition made in the heading of this section fail – when Emperor Nicholas I did not wish to help the artist who had fallen into poverty. It was a reproach. Kiprensky did not allow himself any more of this, although the decline of his life was very sad.

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