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Portrait of the artist Feodor Chaliapin

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1911, 65×81 cm • Oil, Canvas

Description of the artwork «Portrait of the artist Feodor Chaliapin»

Portrait Of Fyodor Chaliapin 1911 written by Korovin, quite rightly considered one of the best images of the artist. Korovin wrote a few portraits of the other (1, 2).

Familiarity Korovin and Chaliapin are required patron Savva Mamontov in 1896 at the Nizhny Novgorod exhibition of the artist designed the mammoth pavilion, dedicated to the far North, and the famous singer there performed in front of distinguished guests. They quickly became friends and almost inseparable. Chaliapin even built a cottage near the estate of Korovin in Okhotino. The artist has designed many productions of the artist, created the costumes and scenery. And, by the way, taught him to draw. According to Korovin, Chaliapin, was a "remarkable talent as a draughtsman and painter".

This portrait Korovin wrote in the French town of Vichy, where they met on vacation in 1911. He later sold the painting to collector Tereshchenko, which according to some reports, afraid angered the singer. However, soon bosom friends made up.

This portrait is fairly typical for the Korovin. Sketchy manner, creating the effect of incompleteness, wide, light stroke, bold handling of paint and of course the sun. Chaliapin flooded with sunlight that enters through the open window. And since we are dealing with impressionism in Russian, the portrait also possess special specificity, psihologicheski. Generous brushstrokes convey quite concerned, freedom-loving, strong nature Chaliapin. Face and figure is depicted in a generalized way, but quite typical. Background, on the contrary, it is written smooth. Gorgeous detail – hanging right hand, it is a story that posing is relaxed right now and happy with life in General. Atudot image does not contradict this expression.

The artist depicted at the table – a bouquet of flowers, a carafe with brandy, absolutely vital, that the impressionistic "stop the moment". But still the hero here – he is depicted, not the light and color contrasts. Looking at him in the flickering light, the interweaving of color, we read his impetuosity, emotional openness, we see even a touch of narcissism, feel the contentment, the joy of life and delight in the very fact of existence.

Coloring the picture based on the comparison of the warm ochre tones of the room and cool green and white colors of a flowering tree. The way they connect Chaliapin: warmed by the sun, the warm shade of the costume carries the cold blotches of white. Korovin was prone to polyarnosti, and this picture is a perfect illustration. In it we see the elements of portraiture, landscape, still life – all highlights colorful image of the hero.

A bit of speculation, guesswork and legends on the subject. In exile the relationship Korovin and Chaliapin went wrong. There is a theory that the reason the accident with his son Korovin. Supposedly it was in Berlin, and Alex saved the daughter of Chaliapin, but suffered himself, having lost either one, or both legs. However, in the archives of the Tretyakov gallery kept a medical report about the injury which Alexey Korovin was back in Moscow. He stumbled, climbing the stairs of the tram, and he cut off his foot. He needed a prosthesis and for life remained crippled. What Chaliapin? The fact that immediately after the incident the young man was taken to the apartment of a friend of his father, Feodor Chaliapin, since it was nearby, and in the hospital he was sent from there.

Although hearing about the salvation of the daughters of Chaliapin son Korovin false, quarrels for Chaliapin and Korovin were common, as both could be quite quick-tempered. A cooling in relations is due to the much more simple reasons: their life after leaving Soviet Russia was very different. Chaliapin was a success around the world, full houses. But Korovin was always in the bondage of unscrupulous gallery owners, mired in family, hard folding cases that suffered from a dramatic lack of money. They continued to communicate, but less and less.

Author: Alain Grosheva
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About the artwork
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art and technique: Impressionism, Oil

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