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A portrait of the writer Leo Tolstoy

Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge • Painting, 1884, 95×71.2 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1884
Size: 95×71.2 cm
Artwork in selections: 39 selections

Description of the artwork «A portrait of the writer Leo Tolstoy»

In April 1891 Pavel Tretyakovacquired for his gallery portrait of Leo Tolstoy Nikolai GE. In the Tretyakov gallery it was the third portrait of the writer: firstwas commissioned by Ivan Kramskoy in 1873 year, and secondon their own initiative, wrote in 1887 Ilya Repin, and he was immediately bought by Tretyakov, Repin saw in the future of Russian painting.

The work of the late Gay (especially his "Passion cycle" - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Tretyakov, on the contrary, did not understand and did not approve: Leo Tolstoy even had to convince the Tretyakov that the GE is "Blanc among painters".

And yet it is the portrait, written by GE, will get the best audience response. Many followers of the teachings of Tolstoy, had never seen the writer, after a visit to him at Yasnaya Polyana, gave their impressions of how live looks Thick, with the words: "Just like in the portrait of Mr. GE!"

Tolstoy is depicted at work in the Moscow office of his house in Khamovniki. This 1884-the year – the time when he worked on the treatise "My faith." The classic "Cabinet portrait", where nothing extraneous (background, interior, entourage) should not distract from the main man and his works. Spacious blouse "hoodie" does not restrict movement. The light coming from the side, model the face in three-quarter view, the beard, the forehead with protruding eyebrows and a hand, easily holding the pen. GE represents not so much the thickest, but the process of thinking, inner focus – intense and at the same time natural.

Introduction GE and Tolstoy

The story of their relationship began in 1882, the year when Kyo accidentally came across a newspaper article about Tolstoy census in Moscow. Tolstoy reasoned: 2 thousands of energetic young people pass on all the most distant corners of the city, will visit slums and rooming houses to rewrite the inhabitants. Probably they encountered a lot of people "without bread, clothes and shelter". But really, the whole task of sociology is to fix that in Moscow in 1882, the year was so many beggars, prostitutes, homeless? No, people need real help. Tolstoy suggested specific things: not only "scribes," but also to all inhabitants of Moscow, having this power, to join and help (where you need money, and better – human participation) to those who need it.

Read deeply shocked Kyo. He described his words as "I just lit". His first impulse was to go to Moscow "see this great man and hug him"the second "to work it". Impulsive and passionate by nature GE immediately did so. Came hugged and said: "Here is your daughter – do you want to write a portrait?" Tolstoy said: "A better wife". GE has done this. Thus began the story of their friendship.

GE – follower of the teachings of Tolstoy

But it would be wrong to say about GE, he, like many other followers of the great writer, "hit the tolstovstvo". It was not blindly following a guide or "obedience to man" with the abandonment of their own will. The relationship of GE and Tolstoy should be called mutual enrichment. GE do not have to break their own world view in favor of the thick – their views on many important things the same. When GE became a frequent visitor at Yasnaya Polyana, Tolstoy often spoke of their home: "If I'm not in the room, Nicholas could answer you: he will say the same that I".

The relationship between GE and Tolstoy families formed a close family. Tolstoy lived in Yasnaya Polyana, and n – in the village of Ivanovskoe in Chernihiv. Their way of life is based on the idea of "simplification", largely coincided. Followed by a Thick GE refused from tobacco and animal food, was introduced to peasant labor, learned to put the furnace and a pleasure to do this for a living on the poor farm: "The farmer needs to know and see what is in the soul I have is Christ". GE made friends with the children of Tolstoy: he was very respectful Mary L.for famine relief, little Vanya Tolstoy helped GE to learn English words, and Tatiana Lvovnatook his painting lessons. GE left the portraits of both sisters, and Tatiana Lvovna Sukhotina-Tolstaya would later write about Nikolai GE interesting memoirs. There are references and the work on the portrait: "I remember how happy Kyo was the fact that during the work the father is sometimes completely forgotten about his presence, and sometimes moving his lips, talking to himself".

When in 1894, the year GE suddenly die, and at his films "the Passion", censored, hovering threat of seizure and destruction, Thick, not afraid of repression, bravely hiding them in the workshop daughter Tanya at Yasnaya Polyana and due to this late paintings-Kyo will reach posterity. Many friends-artists will claim that Gay "scribbled" and Tretyakov refused to buy his paintings, to put it bluntly, she believes "non-fiction"and only the Colon will continue to passionately prove that the GE – "one of the greatest artists making epoch in art".

Author: Anna Yesterday