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Girl with peaches (Portrait of V. S. Mamontova)

Painting, 1887, 85×91 cm

Description of the artwork «Girl with peaches (Portrait of V. S. Mamontova)»

Anatomy of a masterpiece: the Girl with peaches

(Click "show tags" in the upper left corner of the picture below it were the numbers)

Summer 1887-worth in the creative biography of Valentin Serov as a separate item. After returning from Italy, he all of a sudden exploded, "the Girl with peaches" - a portrait, from perevodchik it from the category of "promising" and "promising" to the rank held by the master. 22-year-old artist managed to find something which works of his former teachers looked next to the "Girl" "dead images" (in the words of one Mikhail Nesterov). It was an intuitive insight, a state of "creative intoxication", which Serov himself said: "It is necessary at times: no, Yes little, and sleep. And it won't work".

1. Girl

Model Serov – Vera Mamontova, the daughter of Savva Mamontov, entrepreneur, collector and philanthropist. She is 12. She would prefer to frolic with his peers outside. But instead, for more than a month patiently posing. They with Anton (as in Abramtsevo - the estate of Mammoth - Valentin Serov called) friends. Besides the artist went to the bribe – promised Faith to ride with her on horses, as she wants. Horseback riding was supposed to authorize the mom Elizabeth G. Mamontova, Serov, as an honest man, "knocked out" permission. The portrait was designed Elizabeth Fosdick as a gift, and a surprise was thus ruined. However, regret that no one had.

Little Faith – a perfect model. She has an unconscious confidence, beauty and naturalness that is possible only when you're 12. Natural – how she is dressed, her hairstyle, the look, the pose. Not accidentally thirteen years later Serov seated in the same position of Nicholas II what will give the work a vitality, unusual for a traditional portrait the main.

2. Peaches

Peaches on the table – local, Mammoth greenhouse. Trees for it was purchased at the estate of artemovo 16 years ago. Took care of them Artemovskiy gardener, whose mammoth invited. This is a common story for the estate of Abramtsevo – having been in this hospitable house once, many remained for a long time or come back again and again.

3. Window

That raging Abramtsevo August with its gardens, alleys, river, boats, dogs and horses, is a silent reproach to the painter, all day, delightful Sunny warm days - tormented child. However, not only.

By placing the light source behind the model, Serov was made a great effect of lightness and freshness. The sun sifted through the leaves, reflected from tablecloths and blouses heroine, colors the area of pink and gold. Unusual for Russian painting of those years, warm and delicate flavor, soft reflected light, plenty of air – all this was characteristic of the Impressionists (of which Serov knew little in 1887). Seeing "the Girl with peaches", friends and colleagues have repeatedly voiced the idea that write Serov that painting is not in Abramtsevo, and in Paris the next morning woke up famous.

4. A doorway or chair part

Another detail is outstanding in the young Serov impressionist intuitive – as if a random edge of the composition. The doorway at the right hand of the heroine, a half of a chair, cut off frame – "frame" would be snatched at random, is a piece of reality, spontaneous and relaxed. As accurately noted by the art historian mark Capsizer, "chair, part of which fell on the canvas, continues beyond the presentation and at the beginning did not appear on the canvas of the world where there are chairs and tables, and other peaches, and the other girls". What "impressionist beliefs" did intentionally, Serov created on a whim – perhaps at the age of 22 he was thinking about what would later be called "reverse composition". His hand was guided not knowledge, but inspiration.

5. Table

The table at which Faith sits, the heart of the Abramtsevo estate, where lunch is mammoth and their numerous permanent guests. Earlier, when the estate was owned by the writer Sergey Aksakov, were here Turgenev and Gogol, when the Mammoth, the tradition continued: Abramtsevo became a second home for Valentin Serov and Mikhail Vrubel, I visited Ilya Repin, Fyodor Chaliapin and many others. Over time, there was a tradition: friends with Mamontovy artists painted on the cloth with chalk, and Faith was embroidered painting, perpetuating thus a unique collection of autographs. The picture Serov table cloth is still white. Whether visiting celebrities began to sign on the tablecloth later, whether the artist did not want to overload your airy masterpiece of unnecessary diversity.

6. Leaves

Serov began work in August and finished in September. Yellow maple leaves on the table make the story a touch of melancholy. It's a reminder that neither the summer nor the child, alas, is not eternal.

7. Plate

The famous Abramtsevo workshops were famous decorative ceramics, including majolica. Especially in this case succeeded Vrubel, who at one time was managed by local production. However, Vrubel acquainted with Mamontov only two years, so that plate he's not involved.

8. Grenadier

Toy soldiers (behind the right shoulder of Faith) was purchased by Savva Mamontov in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in 1884. The Grenadier was made of unpainted wood, it was painted by Valentin Serov. This is an important detail. Everything in this house was for his friends and family. First time visiting Mammoth 10-year-old boy, Serov immediately fell in love with Abramtsevo. Savva Ivanovich and Elizaveta G. he loved as mother and father. Their children were his friends, that the best years of his childhood. Only in this house, where he knew every nail, only surrounded by the people he considered his family, Serov could write such a carefree and Sunny portrait.

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov
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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: 1887

Size: 85×91 cm

Artwork in selections: 139 selections