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Portrait of Archeologist Michelangelo Lanci. 1851
62.8 х 49.5 Oil on canvas Tretyakov Gallery, Hall 9

Michelangelo Lanci (1779–1867), an Italian archeologist and professor of oriental languages, was an acquaintance of the artist. In his depiction of the old scholar, the artist does not conceal the signs of age of his subject. Lanci has raised his eyes to the viewer, as if he heard a question or was awaiting an answer. The viewer seems to become an interlocutor to the subject. This feeling is accentuated by the gesture of his hand captured by the artist in a random movement. The colouration based on a combination of red and silver-grey plays a special role. The olive-brown background emphasises well the harmony of the two dominant colours.

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