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Borovikovskiy, Vladimir Lukich
Portrait of M.I.Lopukhina

1797
oil on canvas
72 x 53.5

In the portrait of Maria Ivanovna Lopukhina (17791803), née Countess Tolstaya, we see an embodiment of the aesthetic ideal of Sentimentalism. The artist was especially attracted to the nuances in human condition and the life of the soul. An elegiac dreaminess and languorous tenderness permeates the entire artistic fabric of the work. The vague, blurry contours, complex gradations of cool colours with iridescent blue, lilac, greenish, silver notes, join the figure with the landscape into a single harmonious and musical image. The bright blue of the cornflowers flowering amidst the rye reflects the intense tone of the models belt. The golden ears repeat the colour of the chain decorating Lopukhinas arm. The rose and lilac scarf matches up with the drooping roses. Cornflowers, ears of rye and the branches bending down all embody a country landscape corresponding to the delicately simple clothing of the model and the mild, thoughtful expression on her face. Man in the age of Sentimentalism strived to blend in with natural beauty and to feel that he was part of living nature.

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