Portrait of Count Feodor Vasilievich Rostopchin. 1809
76.4 х 61.8 Oil on canvas Tretyakov Gallery, Hall 8

Count Fyodor Vasilievich Rostopchin (1765-1826) was Kipresnky’s patron in Moscow. In 1812, he became Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief of Moscow. The Great Fire of Moscow played a fatal role in his fate; in 1814 he had to leave Russia for Germany and then Paris. Upon his return in 1823, he retired from service for good. This art piece is painted in the tradition of 18th-century intimate portraiture. The character is depicted as a private citizen, without any of his Orders or regalia. The interpretation of his image is devoid of keen characterization and demonstrativeness of feelings, which were typical for the works of the previous century artists. The utterly restrained interpretation of the image, precise classical composition, exquisitely austere colouration suggest that the sitter is a modern man. The model is self-absorbed and that is hardly surprising: a Romantic is a strong individualist – loneliness for him is the most natural state. This painting is a pair to the portrait of his wife Yekaterina Rostopchina.

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