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Savva Ivanovich Mamontov, being a well-known philanthropist and collector throughout the Russian Empire, was also a very close person for the artist Valentin Serov. Mamontov was the protégé of many artists and artists, he organized home performances, venues for cultural events, and his estate in Abramtsevo became a real center of the artistic life of Russia at that time.
Famous Russian artists lived and worked in the estate of Savva Mamontov, among them: Vrubel, Vasnetsov, Repin, Nesterov and Serov himself. Providing financial support to artists, Mamontov made a significant contribution to the cultural development of Russia in the nineteenth century.
Serov’s artistic style particularly attracted Savva Ivanovich Mamontov, it’s known that his daughter Vera is the same famous girl with peaches depicted in Valentin Serov’s painting “Girl with Peaches”, which is currently kept in the Moscow Tretyakov Art Gallery.
The portrait of Savva Ivanovich Mamontov is made in oil on canvas; it is a classic chamber belt portrait in the heat of realism. The background, executed in dark colors, is deliberately shaded by Serov in order to emphasize the significance of the figure of Mamontov. Particular attention is paid to the mental state of the portrayed. The gaze of Savva Ivanovich Mamontov expresses interest, passion for the beloved business, as if the person being portrayed is busy not with posing, but with careful consideration of the next painting, created, for example, by Vrubel. At the same time, Mamontov’s view is very warm and understanding.
The special significance of the figure of the person being portrayed is emphasized by accents, such as a highlighted white collar under a dark one, in the tone of the background, with a jacket and a hand busily inserted into the trouser pocket.
Peter Brueghel The Misanthrope