The work was written in 1783. Her unusual and full of secrets story to this day remains not fully disclosed. Relatively recently, this work was called “Portrait of the Unknown” and was purchased from a private person in the 50s of the last century, along with a similar-sized “Portrait of the Unknown”. Both works were exhibited together in the art gallery of the city of Chelyabinsk. After a series of examinations, the authorship of “Portrait of the Unknown” was established, who Dmitry Grigoryevich Levitsky became, but his involvement in creating the portrait of a woman was not confirmed.
The canvas depicts Dmitry Grigoryevich himself, where he is supposedly 50 years old. It is interesting that the artist managed to highlight all the details of his image, giving the picture realism and lively energy. Looking at the portrait, the viewer can note the elation of the character’s mood, self-confidence, and at the same time, the simplicity and good nature that come from Levitsky. The artist also highlighted such details as facial wrinkles, gray hair, which indicates his objectivity in writing. A similar habit can be seen in the whole work of Dmitry Grigoryevich.
The portrait is not burdened with paints. Levitsky is depicted in the light against a darkened background. A similar approach to painting portraits is considered classic in painting, since it becomes fundamental to highlight the character's contour, its characteristics and distinctive features. Often the background did not have much significance, they tried to avoid it altogether. Such a policy involuntarily drew the attention of the viewer precisely to the hero of the picture.
In the picture, Levitsky is depicted sideways, turning his head slightly towards the viewer. His gaze is slightly raised, but only to give the portrait a “living" form. Speaking about the size of the portrait, it should be noted that they are only 20 cm in height. Thus, the artist gave the work a certain intimacy.
Peter Brueghel Icarus Fall