In the 1880s, I.N. Kramskoi gets increasingly attracted to fair lyrical images. In search of “the gratifying”, he turns to the poetic world of youth. While in Menton (France) for medical treatment, he portrays himself working on the portrait of his daughter Sofia Ivanovna (Junker by marriage). The “randomness” of the composition and unusual angle – Kramskoi depicts himself from the back into a semi-profile – creates a sense of immediacy. At the same time the painter immerses the viewer into his creative laboratory, presenting himself as an artist-creator, and reveals for a little the world of his personal life, filling the girl’s image with gentleness and warmth. The creative freedom and artistry inherent in this work evoke associations with French art, in particular with that of Edouard Manet.
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