Description of the painting by Dmitry Levitsky “Portrait of N. A. Lvov” (1789)

Description of the painting by Dmitry Levitsky “Portrait of N. A. Lvov” (1789)

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The artist’s skill was manifested in portraiture, and he is known not only for parade, but also for chamber images, on which all the details were of great importance: clothing, spatial arrangement, posture, environment, facial expression, look, even background. However, the portrait painter was not a formalist and often deviated from the rules of the genre in order to demonstrate, besides the ceremonial and spectacular appearance of a person, his soul, affection and humanity.

In the portrait the famous architect, poet, musician and great friend of the artist N. Lvov looks modest and at the same time noble, inspired, all this is achieved by the artist’s artistic decision. Each portrait painted by Levitsky is individual. The artist concentratedly studied the unique features of the person reproduced by him. The means of exposure, color, illumination of the character on his canvases are always due to the content of the image. The portrait depicts a calm, confident man, dressed in a regular coat of blue color without any solemn regalia, but fashionable and quite new, a day off, in a white shirt, decorated with corrugated frill and a bow tie in tone.

A clean-shaven face of a noble skin tone, framed by a lush, fashionable hairstyle of dark hair, clearly stands out against a dark background. Quiet smart eyes stand out on the face, whose eyes are aimed directly at the audience. This look can not be called arrogant or proud, it is just humane, sympathetic and a little tired.

The author does not deviate to trifles, he shows contemplators a prominent exponent of the ideas of Russian Enlightenment. The characteristic features of the portrait are balanced architectonics, sustained color, lighting, accentuating the face of Lviv, reproducing the appearance of a remarkable person - active, entrepreneurial, intelligent, richly gifted with all sorts of abilities, distinguished by dignity and self-esteem, at heart, free and independent.

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