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Portrait of Princess Olga Orlova

Painting, 1911, 237.5×160 cm

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Princess Olga Orlova»

Princess Olga Konstantinovna Orlova, the legendary St. Petersburg professional fashionista and socialite – was able to wear hats. To suspect her other talents was not easy: according to eyewitnesses, the Princess was not noted for his intellect, sincerity, or beauty. Obviously, it was not among her virtues and punctuality. Serov persuaded to write her portrait, she continued to flit from the ball to the ball, and he (to finish the work which has been undertaken reluctantly) had to chase her everywhere from St Petersburg to the Atlantic coast. Of course, Serov did not take through the portrait of the scores – he was not a petty man. However, a note of irritation, Travego it while working, heard quite clearly: this is a Prime example of how deftly Serov was able to weave in front a portrait of the elements of the cartoons.

"She couldn't stand, walk, sit without much antics, underlining that it is not just any ordinary aristocrat, as the first at the court of spades"- described Orlov Igor Grabar. Serov did not sinned against the truth, depicting a "grimace" instead of nature or any sign of personality.

The unnatural pose of the Princess issues a look – she's dressed and ready to conquer the world. Eyebrow arrogantly outstretched, on his face – barely contained annoyance: something or someone dares to distract the mistress of life from its urgent tasks. Sleek finger points to itself – another evidence of excessively inflamed ego.

Serov expressed his attitude to the model is so unequivocal that the critics began to find in the portrait the allusions and metaphors – including those which the artist hardly knew existed. For example, some of them seriously believe that Serov had deliberately distorted the shadow from the vase that she repeated the outlines Orlova in her absurd hat. Thus he emphasizes that his character is as empty.

Fans of the Princess (and there were many) were very dissatisfied with the portrait. Especially they blamed Serov that he insisted Orlov posed with the hat. Serov calmly replied that without a hat – it would not be Orlov.

Itself Olga Konstantinovna claims are not voiced. But the picture that he loved, hardly – that must be sarcasm Serov was clear and her. Soon after his death she gave the portrait to the Museum of Alexander III on condition that he would not be exhibited in the same room with portrait of IDA Rubinstein. It seems that Princess Orlov could not stand the competition not only on the noisy ball, but in the blessed quiet of the Russian Museum.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Impressionism

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1911

Size: 237.5×160 cm

Artwork in selections: 41 selections

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