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Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II (the Portrait of Nicholas II in the gray jacket)

Painting, 1900-th , 70×58 cm

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II (the Portrait of Nicholas II in the gray jacket)»

In 1902, while working on another portrait of Nicholas II an incident occurred that put an end to relations between Serov and the Romanov dynasty. The Empress Alexandra wishing to see how work is progressing, dared to give Serov tips (she herself painted - took lessons from a German artist von Kaulbach). And Serov, as a human being independent and not very easy temper, asked her to finish the portrait instead of him. The Empress, covered with crimson spots, ran from the room out. The portrait remained unfinished. All attempts of the Imperial house to restore with Serov diplomatic relations, the artist has responded with decisive refusal. When Nicholas tried to get close to Serov, after Sergei Diaghilev, Valentin snapped: "In this house I no longer work" - and kept his word.

Portrait of Nicholas II officer's jacket regiment became thus the last complete portrait of the Emperor of a brush of Serova.

After 1905, the Serov hostility to the Royal family has increased many times: the artist blamed the Emperor in the events of Bloody Sunday. He believed that in his portrait of the predicted future hardships associated with the reign of Nicholas. One day, seeing his picture in the exhibition, Serov said: "And in the corners of the eyes – in 1905!". But the friend of the artist Konstantin Korovin wrote about this portrait: "Serov, the first of the artists caught and captured on the canvas, gentleness, intelligence and however, the weakness of the Emperor".

However, in 1900 Valentin Serov was definitely felt sympathy for her senior model.
Working on this portrait, Serov stood up for Mamontov (Savva Ivanovich was under investigation), and the Emperor immediately ordered that I released under house arrest. Serov asked Nicholas to financially support the magazine "World of art", and he again refused. Serov bribed the ability of the king to stay simple and at the same time, with great dignity, he clearly was in the power of his charm.

And this is dictated by the composition of the painting. Designed as a gift to the Empress* she is totally devoid of Pavarotti and pathos formal portraits. Nicholas II in military uniform everyday, his attitude (by the way, immediately quickening at the memory of the famous Serov "Girl with peaches") there is neither narcissism nor arrogance, the eyes are shining mind. Famous art critic Abram Efros said Serov "the gentle brush wrote svetloserogo quiet dreamer Colonel in uniform".

In the same year, Serov made a copy of "Portrait in a jacket". One day he brought her into the room, where the assembled edition "World of art". "Seated" drawn of the Emperor at the head of the table, he skillfully painted the portrait and was almost brought to a collective heart attack Léon Bakst, Alexander Benois and other of his associates on the journal. It is this author's copy is now kept in the Tretyakov gallery**.

As for the first portrait, which is inisel in the study of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna that he suffered not so fun fate. In 1917 the eye "svetloserogo dreamer" with the original gouged out with bayonets, the sailors stormed the Winter Palace.

*Also 1900 the company dated Serov "Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II in the uniform of the Royal Scots 2nd Dragoons" (Nicholas II was listed as the chief of the regiment in 1896 and ordered the portrait to make the military ward, in the Museum of the regiment in Edinburgh the picture is now stored). This formal portrait was written simultaneously with "portrait in a jacket", which was prepared as a gift to the Empress. When she caught her husband and the artist for spelling "gray" the portrait, she explained, as if it's just a sketch needed to work on the Scottish front.

**The Hermitage the etching, done in 1913 by the original Serov.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov
from 1450 rub
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1900-th

Size: 70×58 cm

Artwork in selections: 42 selections

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