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Vigilius Eriksen
Vigilius
 Eriksen
Denmark 1722−1782
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Biography and information
 

Danish painter, arrived in St. Petersburg. in 1757, wrote miniatures, portraits in oil and pastel. The first court painter to Catherine II. He has written approx. 30 portraits of the Empress, some of which she sent as gifts to their foreign correspondents and foreign. yards. His portraits do not reveal the psychology and interior. the world depicted. It is rather the amount of knowledge and observation model. They reflect more manners, habits and lifestyle of the characters than their character. In 1772 E. returned to Copenhagen and was appointed court painter to date. king.

Eriksen was born in Copenhagen, where he studied in N.-S. Valia. Up to 1750 he worked at home. Fifteen years, from 1757 to 1772, the artist lived and worked in St. Petersburg. He arrived at the court of Elizabeth, whose portrait of his work preserved in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo. With the ascension to the throne of Catherine II Eriksen was appointed court painter and made a speedy prosperity. His reputation at the Imperial court was extremely high.

Jacob Staehelin in his notes testified: «Since the beginning of the reign of Her Majesty Empress Catherine II Eriksen was held as the first court painter. He never was in the pay, and were forced to pay for every picture especially with the excess. Its annual earnings only when the yard is estimated at 5 thousand rubles. From 1766, he writes almost nothing but gentlemen and ladies in their ceremonial garb. In the spring of 1769 — the most similar and the most beautiful portrait of the Empress pastel. The most similar and the most complete portraits of Her Majesty came down from the easel Eriksen… He also wrote a lot of portraits of individuals, all equally good, excellent flavor and a soft brush» (Notes Jakob Staehelin about the fine arts in Russia / Comp., translated from the German lang., come. article V. K. Malinovsky. Vol. 1. — M., 1990. P. 83, 85.).

Master of ceremonial representative portraits, Eriksen — a typical court painter. A consistent model of the artist — Catherine II, he wrote no fewer than 30 portraits of the Empress in different pictorial techniques, compositions, formats, costumes and poses. August ordered it quite liked a pleading look portraits of foreign Maestro who knew how delicately and subtly to flatter. About his court artist Catherine the great wrote a laudatory letter to Baron M. Grimm.

In one of the early portraits of the Empress Eriksen captured her on a horse (Portrait of Catherine II on horseback. After 1762. GE). The work was deemed so successful that it was repeated by the artist in large and smaller versions.

Great success had fallen also, the share of «Portrait of Catherine II before a mirror» (Between 1762 and 1764. GE) and «Portrait of Catherine II in mourning» (1762. TG). In the Peterhof Palace is preserved a portrait of Catherine II in front of the secretaire (Between 1762 and 1764. Museum-reserve «Peterhof»). Known and intimate image of the Empress: a profile (up to 1762. GE), as well as designed in a «Russian» style «Portrait of Catherine II in sugae and headdress» (1769−1772. GE).

Occupy a significant place in the works of Eriksen’s portraits of the heir to the throne Pavel Petrovich (Portrait of Grand Prince Paul Petrovich in the classroom. About 1766. GE). Danish portraitist also depict high society and royalty, the close of Catherine II. He portrayed the king’s favorite Grigory Orlov (About 1765. TG), count Panin, chief Marshal of the Earl Sievers, Vice Chancellor Prince Golitsyn (1764. The state Tretyakov gallery) and others. Paintings of his brush was considered highly prestigious, and readily bought for huge money.

Since 1766, the artist worked with images of costumed participants court competition, the so-called carousel. He created two huge portrait of Grigory Orlov in the form of «Roman warrior» and Alexey Orlov in «the costume of the Saracens» (1766−1772. GE). Among the works of Eriksen is unusual, polutoratonny «Portrait of a century of Tsarskoye Selo with the peasant family» (1771. RM).

The artist’s work is marked by the interweaving lines of Baroque, Rococo and classicism. Portraits Eriksen picture by its size and the nature of the composition. They are skilful, refined and elegant. Eriksen cleverly worked in rare for Russian artists pastels. It made mentioned by J. Stalinym the image of Catherine II and the first half-length version of «a century of Tsarskoye Selo with the peasant family» (1768, TG).

High painting technique, inherent to the artist, had a direct impact, according to most researchers, in F. Rokotov’s early period of his work. Young roars derives from the Danish masters scumbling lightness and transparency of brush stroke.

In 1772 Eriksen went home, took a large number of his works. Some of them Catherine II later bought him. In Denmark, Eriksen became court painter of Queen Juliana. He died at Copenhagen in 1782.

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Artworks by the artist
total 2 artworks
Vigilius Eriksen. Portrait of Catherine II in sugae and headdress
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Portrait of Catherine II in sugae and headdress
1796, 60×70 cm
Vigilius Eriksen. Portrait of Catherine II in sugae and headdress
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Portrait of Catherine II in sugae and headdress
View 2 artworks by the artist
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