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Orest Adamovich Kiprensky is a famous Russian portrait painter, talented painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. One of the largest domestic masters of romantic portrait began, like all students of the Academy of Arts, with historical painting.
In 1805, the artist was tasked with writing a large programmatic piece on the theme of Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy, presented in the battle with Mamai, when after winning a victory the Prince dies among his soldiers in a grove. The artist, then still a student, copes with the task perfectly and receives a gold medal of the first dignity for the picture, which then allowed him to work a lot abroad.
The subjects of Russian history have always been part of the program for obtaining art education. Kiprensky depicts the scene in the best traditions of the Italian and Flemish schools of painting - large-scale, colorful and dynamic.
The Grand Duke, whose figure is located slightly to the left of the center, throws his hands up in the sky in prayer movement and thanks Heaven for the victory over the enemy. Around Dmitry Donskoy gathered his soldiers, participants in a bloody battle.
On their faces read surprise and joy from the news that their leader is alive. In the background you can see the landscape - an important part of the classic picture - and the dark clouds in the sky sound in unison with the mood of the picture.
The color of the work plays one of the most important roles. Harmony of bright colors, blood red and emerald green shades are combined in an unknown game of color. The sharp movements of the characters, a clear drapery of their clothes, eye-catching tones and, of course, a well-grouped composition - all this helps to perceive the picture as one clear-cut action that has left the stage performance.
Kiprensky created a classic work made in the best academic traditions and was rightfully awarded for it.
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