Portrait of the Gagarin sisters by Vladimir Borovikovsky

Portrait of the Gagarin sisters by Vladimir Borovikovsky

At the turn of the XVIII – beginning of the XIX century Borovikovsky turned to a new type of group portrait for him. This allowed the artist to introduce new qualities into the form of a lyrical portrait that he discovered.

Among the most successful is the portrait of the Gagarin sisters. In his composition, genre action is introduced. Two young girls, dressed at home, are engaged in making music. Junior – plays the guitar and looks at the sheet music, which is kept by the older sister.

Elegant poses, lively eyes, tender ovals of young faces, subtle overflows of silvery-gray, violet-pink and blue tones, friendly nature. Exquisite bright red guitar does not bring dissonance, but only emphasizes the bright images of sisters.

Although the idea of this picture is close to the ideas of sentimentalism, showing the idyll of domestic life and the tender feelings born of music, it nevertheless carries a significant element of novelty: the motive for active action is its basis. In accordance with this, the characters of the girls are no longer hidden by the shadow of an uncertain dreaminess: they have more concreteness and naturalness.

Cleverly used almost square format of the canvas, which successfully arranged two figures. The landscape background in the picture has a small role. But everyday objects: clothing, guitar, notes – occupy almost half of the picturesque surface. The new manifests itself in the volumetric-plastic interpretation of the form: the artist uses an uncharacteristic for him before the light and shadow contrast in the faces. The color of the portrait is built on the contrast of closely approximated tones, without the use of reflexes.

Still soft are combinations of gray with pink, pearly white, somewhat voiced by the bright color of the guitar. These minor changes in composition and color significantly change the lyrical and emotional image that Borovikovsky discovered in the previous decade.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 2.50 out of 5)