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An Unknown Lady. 1883
76.1 х 102.3 Oil on canvas

The viewer is intrigued both by the heroine of the painting and its name. The artist depicted a young woman in a carriage against the Anichkov Palace in St Petersburg. The woman is not so much beautiful as she is impressive and “chic.” Her costume corresponds to the latest fashion of the time and indicates that she belongs to “ladies of the demi-monde.” It’s not without reason that critics used to call her “the courtesan in a carriage,” “the dear camellia” and “an offspring of big cities.” Kramskoi emphasises certain demonism in his heroine’s features - sensuous lips, hazy eyes, thick curved eyebrows. The topic of the beauty of sin would become popular among the next generation of Russian artists. The painting is done in an unusually bright, sappy, relaxed manner. Kramskoi clearly intended to show off his outstanding painting mastery.

Additional info
Portrait, Domestic scene
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