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“Portrait of A. M. Izmaylova” was painted at a turning point in the development of the skill of Alexei Antropov and his recognition as one of the original and brightest artists of his era. This picture clearly demonstrates the evolution of Antropov’s creative worldview after his training with the famous Italian painter Pietro Rotari.
Moreover, the portrait is made in a chamber style, when the model is depicted not at full height and on a neutral background. A.P. Antropov does not forget about the details indicating the status privileges of the character, but goes beyond the inherent in the same traditional chamber version of execution. Attention is paid to facial expressions, details in clothes ... Along with this, Antropov seeks to maintain the realism of the depicted heroine, subtly conveying the essence of her nature. The portrait is distinguished by bright color and contrast of color variations. And the most insignificant details in clothes are carefully thought out and regular.
The woman captured in the picture is Anastasia Mikhailovna, the daughter of Naryshkin, the chamberlain of the great Tsar Peter, in the marriage of Izmailov. Possessing a sharp mind and striving for power, she entered the closest retinue of Empress Elizabeth and had the status of a high-ranking person. The wayward nature is given out by lips maliciously clenched in a thin line and the expressive look of brown eyes. However, like any woman, Anastasia Mikhailovna, first of all, seeks to perpetuate her beauty in the memory of descendants. Which is not an easy task, because at the time of writing the portrait this venerable lady was already about 56 years old.
The inexorable desire and desire of a lady to remain irresistible, the artist deliberately turns inside out. He does not conceal the order of the heavy and blurry figure of a woman. The massiveness of the body is emphasized by a luxurious dress in a rich blue hue, with numerous frills. The red bow involuntarily focuses on the double chin. The wilting of the once-famous beauty Anastasia Izmailova and cosmetic tricks of the past era do not hide: tightly whitened face, an excessive layer of blush on her cheeks, powdered hair and densely painted eyebrows.
The weight of the figure of Elizabeth Petrovna’s favorite is given by a diamond-studded order with her image. This jewelry is highlighted, indicating the high social status of the model and its importance. The Order is a reward and a special sign of the Empress’s personal disposition towards a member of her retinue. Designed to the smallest facets of each diamond, this detail of the outfit captivates the eye, making you admire the transmission of brilliance and grandeur of jewelry through painting.
Thus, although A. Antropov does not try to reveal the inner world of Anastasia Izmaylova, she skillfully and capaciously identifies and displays the most significant and vivid features of her character.
Northern Territory of Vasnetsov