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"Self-portrait with tassels behind the ear" was painted around 1808. Its author - Orest Adamovich Kiprensky was the best Russian portrait painter of the first half of the XIX century. In the picture - one of several conflicting and mutually exclusive images of the artist, captured by himself in a string of self-portraits. The personality and work of Orest Adamovich, by the way, is still largely filled with intriguing and mysterious details.
A vivid representative of romanticism, he achieved unprecedented heights of skill and success, precisely as a portrait painter. Kiprensky was looking for new opportunities in this genre. Embodying and sketching the external and internal movements of the models, the master tirelessly opened up new artistic techniques and solutions. His portraits became a kind of historical chronicle of society, delighting in the scope of individual characteristics, images and insights of Kiprensky, always for sure, phenomenally and distinctively conveying the essence of the depicted persons.
With his own self-portraits, the situation is much more complicated and still causes controversy among art critics. Each of the paintings represents a particular change in the external and internal appearance of Kiprensky. “Self-portrait with tassels behind the ear”, perhaps, can be attributed to the self-glorification of creative vocation, as a painter. Bold light contrasts, confident and dynamic manner of performance, juiciness and warmth of the color scheme. This portrait breathes indefatigable energy, relaxedness and self-confidence. The eyes of the young artist are burning with excitement, lips are pressed impatiently, and brushes are stuck boldly and with a share of boyish mischief behind the ear.
This self-portrait is unusual and demonstrates new aesthetic techniques in pictorial forms. The leading role here is played by the complex game of chiaroscuro and unusual color effects. The scarcity of detail, few color variations - only through light and shadow does the self-portrait seem to pierce the canvas. The features molded from the darkness are illuminated and kindly warm. Kiprensky appears before us at the beginning of the creative path - full of enthusiasm and hope.
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