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The serf artist managed to reach unprecedented heights in art. Due to the fact that Argunov was a serf of the Sheremetevs, all portraits of the artist belonged to members of the Sheremetev family.
One of the most important works that became significant in the creative life of Argunov was a custom-made portrait of Count P. B. Sheremetev. The artist tried to show a relaxed and refined atmosphere. Count Sheremetyev depicted on the canvas in a spectacular pose. For the actual transfer of the image of the graph, the artist had to perform a large number of portraits. Sheremetev’s face is painted without embellishment - not very beautiful, heavy, the lower part is very elongated, the nose is huge, red. Argunov decided not to fix all this. Field Marshal is dressed in a black and gray frock coat. A dark gloomy cloak was casually thrown over his shoulder. The artist also made the background gloomy, dark.
Ivan Argunov was able to perfectly understand the science of the portrait genre. He tried to paint all portraits as realistic as possible. In his creative life he achieved a lot. And who knows what he could achieve if he were not a serf, but a free man. Until the last day of his life, the artist enjoyed the special location of the Sheremetyevs.
Argunov painted a portrait of Pyotr Borisovich Sheremetev in 1760. Oil painting on canvas. The size of the canvas is 92x73.5 cm. Today, portraits of Argunov’s brush are kept in museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Peter Paul Rubens