Portrait of Countess Ekaterina Rostopchina. 1809
77 х 61 Oil on canvas Tretyakov Gallery, Hall 8

Ekaterina Petrovna Rostopchina (1775-1859) was the wife of F.V. Rostopchin. In 1806, she converted to Catholicism under the influence of Joseph de Maistre, ambassador of the Kingdom of Sardinia to Russia. She spent the rest of her life as a recluse in the village of Voronovo and in Moscow. She was a mystic and was indifferent to secular life. Guests often presumed she was a servant because of her modest appearance and quiet disposition. Rostopchina is depicted here almost ascetically, dressed in clothes that she would keep wearing until her death. The figure seems constrained but her almost unnoticeable incline, far-away and slightly uneasy gaze bring in a breath of life. This painting is a pair to the portrait of her husband.

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