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Portraiture is remarkable in that it gives the viewer the opportunity not only to see the person, but also reveals his inner world, the state of his soul. A vivid confirmation of this is one of the best portraits of N. Gogol.
Close friendship was connected with the author of the canvas, Fedor Antonovich (Otto Friedrich Theodor), the great writer Moller. The artist created the portrait from nature - the writer repeatedly and with pleasure posed for a friend. This made it possible for the artist to most accurately embody on canvas the image of one of the greatest mystification writers in world literature.
The fate of the work of art is interesting. The original has long been on display at the Poltava Art Museum. During the occupation of the territory in World War II, the canvas was lost.
However, to the delight of many admirers of Gogol’s work, a double of the lost creation - its author’s repetition - has been preserved to this day. S. M. Tretyakov, one of the founders and owners of his own gallery, with the expert look of an expert was able to discern and appreciate the high significance of Moller’s work not only for Russian but world art. At the end of the XIX century. the canvas forever found its place of residence - the Tretyakov Gallery.
The portrait is an ideal embodiment of the famous duality of the nature of the writer, consisting of two parts - light and dark.
The writer's face is the only bright part of the picture. Nikolai Vasilievich looks from the canvas with a kind, pacified look. His friendliness and compassion do not look pretended. Obviously, prolonged immobility in the process of posing does not bother Gogol at all.
The gloomy, unkind, making up the dark side of the picture, finds
The embodiment in the clothing of twilight tones, emphasizes the presence in the fate of the great writer of mysticism, the intonations of the other world.
Particularly expressive are the eyes in the portrait. A sad look with a touch of deep inner longing seems to confirm the complex inner world of the character.
Landing, turning the torso in a favorable light for itself betrays how carefully Gogol prepared for the posing sessions. He “diluted” the darkness of his frock coat with a chain almost imperceptibly gleaming on the canvas. The classic full face is changed by a barely noticeable turn of the head - this is an attempt to hide the excessive, as it seemed to the writer, length of the nose.
The portrait of the work of F. Moller is considered to be one of the best images of the genius writer.