A. N. Tolstoy visiting artist

Petr Petrovich Konchalovsky • Painting, 1941, 142.5×169 cm
About the artwork
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Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait, Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1941
Size: 142.5×169 cm
Artwork in selections: 23 selections

Description of the artwork «A. N. Tolstoy visiting artist»

On portrait of Alexey Tolstoy as the guest of Peter Konchalovsky encyclopedia and art sites unanimously and rightly tell us: realism. Yes that there, almost a formal portrait. And that second bottom in the picture is from the first sight and will not catch.

Tolstoy stayed in the country house of the artist. Konchalovskie spent a lot of time here, gathered here numerous family and friends. Alexey Tolstoy depicted for generously covered table. Behind a strong writer, downed logs wall, in the hands of the glass on the table and two for different drinks. Green glass it seems old, obviously expensive dishes. Yes, and jar. Juicy ham, tender petals of red fish, baked with either chicken, or partridge, a bright yellow juicy lemon, crisp cucumbers, red tomatoes. White tablecloth, even lighter cloth covering the vest, and quite shining, the collar of his shirt Tolstoy.

The source of the writer – Konchalovsky himself, we do not see, but believe. Sound house, a lavish dinner, drinking conversation. A great feast - no one would refuse such share. Feel dissonance with Soviet reality? 1938, repression, hunger. However, it is known that Alexei Tolstoy particularly fasting was not necessary.

The picture could be a hymn to hedonism. Sorry, Tolstoy himself is a bit wrong dressed, too dressed, too smart, too formal. Even the top button of shirt undone, tie not loosened. Yes, and his face difficult to find the shadow of Epicureanism – it's smart, thoughtful, and, perhaps, stress.

From the perspective of the descendants, knowing the controversial life of the "red Earl" – he was a favorite of power, a man of great talent, worked together with this power, meanness, and at the same time, using his proximity to "the top" could help the disgraced – we can see in this domestic portrait of the not so obvious side. Before him is a table with viands, followed by the wall. If we ignore the details and concentrate on the overall experience, you can feel that Thick like trapped in this narrow space. In front of him – all the blessings of life, for him there is no escape. Roll him there.

This portrait is comparable to written by Konchalovsky portrait of Vsevolod Meyerhold. In both pictures the view in the first place grabs the generous, vivid, about the pleasures of life reporting environment. And only distracted from it, we see the hero, which significantly contrasts with this situation...

Author: Alain Esaulova