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Borovikovskiy, Vladimir Lukich
Portrait of E.A. Naryshkina

1799
oil on canvas
72.8 x 59.6

The portrait of Yelena Aleksandrovna Naryshkina (1785–1855) is one of the best female portraits painted by Borovikovsky at the end of the 18th century. Naryshkina was the daughter of senior chamberlain A.P. Naryshkin. Her first marriage was to the son of Field Marshal A.V. Suvorov, Count A.A. Suvorov-Rymniksky. After becoming a widow, she remarried, becoming the wife of Prince V.S. Golitsyn. Е.А. Naryshkina had good musical talent. The Italian composer Giacomo Rossini wrote a cantata in her honour. She was a friend of the poets V.A. Zhukovsky and I.I. Kozlov. The artist has depicted her as a still young and charming girl with a languorous smile and regard directed straight at the viewer. The model is dressed in a delicate and modest frock with her curled locks let down to her shoulders. We can sense in the portrait an influence of Late Classicism – the precise drawing, the definition of the outlines, the colour range which gravitates towards local tones.

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