Portrait of Varvara Nikolaevna Surovtseva by Fedor Rokotov

Portrait of Varvara Nikolaevna Surovtseva by Fedor Rokotov

Paired portraits of V. TT, stored in the Russian Museum. Surovtseva and her husband are a wonderful example of F. S. Rokotov’s mature, sophisticated pictorial skill.

The artist subordinates to the oval not only the whole composition, but also smooth, flexible, round brush movements. With an amazing generosity and tact, he manages to combine in one coloristic whole the silvery and ashy tones of the transparent fabric, the delicate pink color of the blooming flower, the pistachio shades of ribbons, the warm tones of powdered hair and the face of a young woman.

The lightness, airiness of the painting

allows the artist to create an atmosphere of eadomousness, the finest play of colors convey the subtle, but diverse and rich nuances of feelings. The clarity of the characteristics, familiar to us from the portrait of Maikov, here gives way to immersion in the spiritual world of man.

Rokotov is no longer an astute analyst, but a dreamer, fascinated by the spiritual beauty and feminine charm of his model. It was not for nothing that the notion of a rokotovsky type of a woman’s face subsequently emerged, including the depth of feelings, the charm of gentleness and kindness, and then a tangible, sometimes elusive shade of sadness. He entered the Russian Museum from the collection of A. S. Taneyev in 1917.

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