The portrait of the daughter of Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov, Olga Nesterova, was painted by her father in 1906, becoming one of the artist’s first works in the portrait genre. The painting is also known as the Amazon; it shows a slender young girl in a black Amazon and a red small hat, standing on the banks of the river. Olga slightly bowed her head, gullibly gazing with wide blue eyes. Her dark silhouette stands out especially clearly against the background of the river illuminated at sunset and the river meadows.
In this portrait, as in all the artist’s works, Nesterov’s great attention is paid to the subtle shades of the soul and the smallest facial features. The painter is trying to reflect reality as he sees it in all the variety of colors. The picture is imbued with the beauty and grandeur of youth, a life-affirming force. The girl’s look seems a little sad and estranged from the outside world, but at the same time expresses recognition and immense admiration for him.
The portrait of Olga Mikhailovna Nesterova is one of several paintings dedicated to the artist’s family. There is information that at that time the daughter was ill and was preparing for a serious operation, in connection with which Mikhail Vasilyevich, fearing a possible soon separation from her, sought to capture her features in the portrait. Like her father, Olga also later engaged in fine arts, although she did not receive an art education: she embroidered her paintings in silk on canvas, as the gold-embroiderers in the past could do in Russia.
Gioconda Painting Description