Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov (1865-1911) automatic translate
The beautiful Russian artist Valentin Serov was lucky to be born in a prosperous and gifted family. The painter’s parents were talented and versatile people. Alexander Nikolayevich Serov, father of the future artist, was a composer, the author of the operas «Enemy Power», «Judith» and «Rogneda.» He was considered the best music critic of his time and was also an excellent original artist. In his youth, he was going to study painting, but then he got carried away by music and gave herself completely to it.
It was from his father that Valentin inherited his extraordinary gift, the ability for incredibly accurate perception of form and color, as well as a great love for animals, which Serov the eldest often depicted on his canvases. Alexander Nikolayevich got married only at forty-four years old, being already a composer and a mature man. His chosen one was the young talented pianist Valentina Semenovna Bergman, who was a pupil of the musician.
The only son of the Serovs was born on January 7, 1865. Valentin from infancy was surrounded by creative and extraordinary personalities from the most diverse social strata, regularly gathered in the house of the composer and his young wife. They were all talented people of that time, musicians, scientists, writers, artists and actors. Among the close friends of Alexander Nikolayevich, who often visited his house, were the sculptor Mark Antokolsky, the writer Ivan Turgenev, with whom Serov was closest and the artist Nikolai Ge, who first instilled in his little Valentine, his love of horses.
Family Serov often arranged literary readings and concerts, as a viewer who was often invited to the servants. Such enlightening evenings were not their personal invention, but rather a tribute to the fashion of the time.
Little Valentine often accompanied his parents to the opera. And in 1869 they first took their son abroad. After this trip, Serov, the youngest, has memories of his visit to the house of the great Richard Wagner for life, though the indelible impression on the boy was made not by the famous composer himself but with a cage with strange pheasants and his huge dog. With such an outwardly interesting life, Valentin was not spoiled by his parents’ attention since childhood, who lived in their own creativity.
In 1871, when the future artist turned six years old, his father passed away. Time of serene receptions in the living room and literary readings are forever in the past. Now he and his mother lived in Munich (from 1872 to 1873). These two years were a very fruitful time for the little draftsman. Living in a hotel, Serov met with the already famous painter Kegshingom, who was interested in a talented boy. Kegshing not only began to take the child to sketches, to help him with professional advice, but also influenced Valentina Semyonovna, recommending her to develop and encourage young talents in every possible way.
Believing that his son’s abilities could become his destiny, Serov’s mother began to consciously encourage and develop them. So, in 1874, nine-year-old Valentin and his mother moved to Paris, where during this period Ilya Repin was. Valentina Semyonovna’s decision to ask Repin to teach her son was the most successful choice in the life of the future painter.
It was Ilya Repin who was the only master who could fully develop and reveal the abilities of young Serov. So, the boy started the first regular and serious drawing lessons. Repin at this time worked in Paris on the paintings «Cafe» and «Sadko», he did many sketches from nature, without forgetting to constantly give assignments to the student. Young Valentin Serov received at that time of grace many valuable tips, tips and clarifications, which he remembered then all his life. Repin allowed him to copy his work, sometimes asked me to write some objects from memory, but he paid most attention to drawing from nature.
The novice artist completely devoted himself to his hobby, spending all his free time on him. In the daytime he painted with colors, and in the evening he made sketches and drawings without end. Due to the mother’s serious attitude, many of Serov’s student works were perfectly preserved. In his early albums, most of the pictures and sketches dedicated to horses are occupied. Of course, Serov drew other animals, but it was the horses that became his love for life.
It was without a doubt a fruitful period in the formation of the great Russian painter. But with all the seeming well-being, the life of a nine-year-old boy in Paris was lonely and dull. His mother, completely immersed only in her work, was constantly absent during the day, and attended the opera in the evenings. Valentine was left alone for a long time, left to himself. This forced reclusion left its imprint on the character of Serov, giving him the moroseness and isolation that the artist has preserved for life.
The influence of Sawa the Magnificent
Like many talented residents of Moscow, Valentin Serov’s mother was familiar with Savva Mamontov, which was a great success for the future artist. This philanthropist and industrialist was in the center of the Moscow spiritual and intellectual life of the second half of the XIX century. Having gathered all the color of the Russian artistic intelligentsia around him, Mamontov provided a unique opportunity for the artists, who were visiting his Abramtsevo estate, to be inspired, free, and not burdened by any problems, including financial problems and creativity. For more than twenty years, the Mamontov estate near Moscow was a major focus of Russian culture, where artists, sometimes for a whole summer, came to communicate, share experiences and combine work with rest.
Often lived with his mother in Abramtsevo, Valentin Serov from childhood took a direct part in virtually all areas of creativity, which developed this creative environment of enthusiasts and like-minded new art. Here he developed his bright and multifaceted talent. Abramtsevo circle, supported by Savva Mamontov, opened two art workshops: ceramic and carpenter-cutting, where old handicrafts and crafts were revived. Great attention was also paid to the theater. Serov gladly participated in the home performances of the Mamontovs, he performed the comedic roles of animals with brilliance, while having a deafening success. It is not surprising that his first and most inspired works, which brought him fame, such as, for example, «The Girl with Peaches», Valentine created it in this wonderful manor.
But, the beneficial influence of the Abramtsevo circle was manifested much later, and at first, conducted by a young talent in the estate of Mamontov, did not bring benefit to his talent. According to the biographer of the artist Igor Grabar, in the summer of 1875, when Valentina Semyonovna first brought her son to the estate, the boy abandoned regular drawing classes and all his albums, carried away by the cheerful and carefree life of Mamontov’s children. Which did not fail to reflect on his artistic abilities. The few drawings of that time in his children’s albums only serve to confirm that innate abilities without practice mean little, for the artist’s original talent and drawing skills are quickly lost without constant work on their growth and maintenance. Not for nothing they say that a true genius is 10 percent of talent and 90 percent of hard work.
So it happened with Serov, without a constant training in working out the precision of the stroke and displaying the color and form, the young artist became much worse at drawing. Therefore, in autumn, his mother took him to St. Petersburg, where the old friend of the family, the artist Nikolai Ge began to take care of Valentine’s talent, cultivating and improving. Soon, thanks to Ge’s care, it became obvious that Serov had entered a new stage of development.
Then, Valentin and his mother moved again. This time to Kiev, where they spent about three years, who became the happiest in the life of the mother and son. In Kiev, the boy entered the drawing school, hitting the class of Nikolai Murashko, an old friend of Repin’s Academy of Arts.
The best teachers
Deciding not to limit the development of her son to just an art education, Valentina Semenovna returned to Moscow and arranged her child in the Moscow gymnasium. Here, the artist’s mother again turned to Repin, asking him to resume lessons. The family of the painter accepted Serov with open arms, and his lessons continued at an even higher level.
Repin himself noted that, in spite of the constant break in his studies, Valentin had made great progress, and very successful works had inspired the boy himself with the belief that he was again able to depict everything he had conceived. Valentine believed in himself and then almost completely abandoned his studies at the gymnasium, with great passion, indulging in his favorite pastime. In the end, the gymnasium director turned to the mother of the young artist with a proposal to transfer the child to a special institution, where his picturesque gift could develop to the fullest. So the boy finally moved to Repin. Now, his lessons in drawing and painting did not interfere with anything else.
Igor Grabar in his memoirs wrote: «Even Repin looks at him already as an artist, not a teenager, and even poses for him for a portrait, while simultaneously drawing Serov. 14-year-old Serov sullenly looks sullenly - recognizable purely «serov» wolf habits, until the last days he survived. And behind this gloomy appearance lies a kind heart and the most tender and pure soul. Repin paints a portrait of Serov, and Serov paints the most accurate portrait of Repin, which has ever been made. It’s all Repin’s essence: his look, his charm, his smile, even his eternal embarrassment - in a word, absolutely everything that we all knew so well, and that he kept up to 70 years. «
Entering the Academy of Arts in 1880, Serov got into the studio of the famous professor Pavel Chistyakov, who was very strict in his manner of teaching, criticizing and ridiculing every inaccurate stroke of his students. These methods of the professor, helped the artist to develop a thoughtful and unhurried manner of portraying nature. Like his teacher, Valentin Serov could not tolerate haste and approximations in drawing and painting.
Answering questions about his painstaking manner of writing, the painter said: «I can not write otherwise, I am guilty, I do not know how much, how much I do not like.» Indeed, it would not be fair to say that Serov did not own the ultra-fast imaging technique. Demanding for his portraits at least forty sessions of posing (and it happened that this number reached a hundred), a talented artist made excellent sketches and perfectly mastered the art of high-speed pencil sketches.
Valentin Alexandrovich with his usual skill was able not only to grasp the recognizable outlines of the figure and the head, but also with a clear and verified stroke to convey all the characteristic features of the exterior, right up to the immediately grasped expression. These short quick sketches are stronger than in other works, one can judge the amazing skill of the artist.
While training his hand on the lightning sketches of parades and military maneuvers, drawing officers and soldiers, Serov did not at all seek portrait resemblance, but, even in spite of himself, he did authentic portraits. The exact eye and the unmistakable hand of the master could not do otherwise. The painter could afford to write complex compositions without any preliminary pencil sketch, just a watercolor brush. Coal, brush and pencil obeyed him without question. Therefore, he drew never posed for him children as confidently as he portrayed adults for months, exhausting them with long sessions of posing.
After only five years after admission, Serov leaves the Academy, feeling already a ready master. For the rest of his life his constant creative self-improvement takes place on a free schedule in continuous work.
In 1885, Serov painted the painting «The Oxen» (State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), a year later - the canvas «Autumn Evening in Domotkanovo» (State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), and «Winter in Abramtsevo. Church «(State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). The formation of the picturesque style of Valentin Serov was influenced by two venerable painters - Repin and Chistiakov, and their art schools.
Nevertheless, already at the age of twenty the artist had nothing in common with the style and technique of writing with any of the teachers, for he developed his own, unique manner of performance, which can not be confused with any of the famous techniques in the history of art. This despite the fact that the paintings of Serov are very diverse in execution.
The painter never stopped on some one successfully found and once worked out way of solving the problem, as is often the case with other painters. All the while looking for new approaches, he tried to select for each particular story the most appropriate form and technique of artistic expression. Throughout the period of his work. Serov was constantly looking for and finding even more accurate ways of expressing his attitude to the object, never being satisfied with the already used ones.
Innovator of Russian fine arts
Serov is often called the first Russian impressionist, comparing his work with the canvases of Renoir. Although, some critics believe that the Russian artist even outstripped his predecessor in the lively colors, the elegance of the transmission of light and the nobility of tones.
If Renoir in his work often used foggy, diffuse transitions, creating some understatement, then Serov, by contrast, with all the means available to him, demonstrated the transparency and depth of the background and the bright triumph of life on it. In the works of the artist you can often see a bizarre change of light and shadow, inimitable play of light tones and a game with highlights.
Even in his dark classical portraits, Serov knew how to introduce a light accent, that he emphasized and distinguished the personality of the person depicted. Even small parts and objects Valentin Alexandrovich, prescribed with great certainty, fixing his fame very scrupulous artist, giving importance to each element.
Noteworthy is the fact that his paintings in the best traditions of impressionism the artist wrote long before he could see the pictures themselves of representatives of this trend, born in France and reached across Europe to Russia only two decades later.
Such a sensitive genius as Serov took up innovative ideas with his whole being, unexpectedly starting to work in a completely new and unusual manner for our school of painting, called the new realism. We can judge the impression that the first screening of the works of the young Valentin Serov, on the record made in Igor Grabar’s monograph, wrote: «The antithesis» the truth of life and the truth of art «can be symbolized in the following names: Mane and Courbet in France, Ayebl and Menzel in Germany, Serov and Repin in Russia. I remember the first time I felt the whole meaning of this antithesis. This was in 1888. For us, the then teenagers, the days of the opening of the only single Moscow exhibitions of that time, the Periodic and Mobile, were a real holiday, the happiest days of the year... The exhibition proved to be extremely significant. Now it is clear that neither earlier nor later it was... it was destined to play a huge role in the history of our newest painting... The most significant of all were... two canvases of the then unknown Serov, two such pearls, that if you had to name only five the most perfect paintings in all modern Russian painting, then both would inevitably have to be included in this list... «.
In the monograph we are talking about two portraits, which instantly lifted the twenty-two-year-old painter to an unattainable height. This work «The Girl with Peaches» (1887, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) and «The Girl Illuminated by the Sun» (1888, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). The first painting made a real sensation in the period of gloomy realism and the obvious predominance of dark and dull colors in painting. Against this background, the emotional impact of the shining painting of Serov, filled with sunlight, the rays of which penetrate through the room, with a soft transition of various shades, the enchanting warmth of the colors of pastel tones, all together was not just a new word, but a fresh blow of the wind of change in Russian art.
The painter himself described the work on the painting as follows: «All I wanted was freshness, that special freshness that you always feel in kind and can not see in the pictures. I wrote more than a month and exhausted it, poor, to death, I really wanted to preserve the freshness of painting with complete completeness - that’s how old masters... «.
On the canvas depicts a particular child - Verusha Mamontova, but the work itself was so much more composition than the portrait of a particular person that fame got his generic name - «Girl with Peaches». Work as if woven of sunshine and joy to the brim fills the room, enveloping all things sparkling halo. Rays of light glide along the walls, falling on the white tablecloth, playing on the shoulders and sleeves pink dress girl, penetrating through the thin fabric, warm «bunny» borne by the swarthy skin of his cheek. One gets the impression as if the room air and the call is transparent, filled with delicate scent of peaches and sparkling flecks of gold.
The painting was so full of colors of light, extremely accurately convey the reality that true harmony vitality overlaps the undoubted beauty of the works and breathes in virtually every subject of the image. Wieruszow dark eyes shine with childlike, for which it is guessed and restlessness, the child barely holding back a smile, she can not wait to take a bite selected a peach, she keeps amazing tanned written out by hand. The whole appearance of the girl from the disheveled locks of hair to smeshinki in his eyes filled with tireless energy and gives it a live inquisitive nature. Even after a hundred years, twelve year old girl in the picture continues to live a carefree life.
Even the peaches are shown in the picture, are parties to the action. They are registered with literally striking imagination of care. Their velvety skin is almost physically palpable. Also amazing loomed back and polished tabletop. Serov inexplicably manages to convey the texture of things from brilliant polishing up magic velvety, soft, absorbent and light wonderfully in harmony with the same velvet baby skin. Moscow Society of Lovers of Fine Arts will present the prize to the young Valentin Serov for this work.
Other work - «Girl in the Sunlight» (portrait cousin Serov M. Simonovich), is another sunny canvas in which the artist paid special attention to the transfer of the fascinating play of light and shadow. Girl sitting under a tree, wrapped in lacy foliage pattern imbued with sunlight relaxed summer afternoon. Her face is calm, all is feminine posture and relaxed, as if it is in the realm of relaxation and rest. Fishnet play the sunlight poured shirt and skin heroine. They spelled out almost mosaic strokes, creating a contrast with the unexpectedly soft velvety blue-violet skirt. Again, the painter was able to accurately convey the incredible few long strokes velvet fabric overflow. The paper traced a completely different pace of life than before, «Girl with Peaches» written in the year. These two products like overlap with each other, if pictorial allegory: childhood and adolescence, carefree playfulness and dreamy contemplation. Much later, in November 1911, just before his death, Serov with Igor Grabar looked at the painting in the Tretyakov Gallery. «He has long stood in front of her - Grabar remembers - closely examining it and without saying a word. Then he waved his hand and said, not so much me, how many in the space, «wrote this thing here, and then all life, no matter how puffed up, nothing will not work, then all plays out.»
Of course, in saying this, the painter was too critical of yourself. All his later works only confirmed his remarkable talent that just constantly looking for new forms of expression, allowing its owner to show us reality through new forms of its unique perception.
Personal and social life of the master
In his letter from Venice bride Olga Trubnikov, Serov in 1887, he writes about his passion for «the XVI century masters of the Renaissance»: «Easily they lived carelessly. I want this to be - carefree; in this century wrote all the heavy, nothing gratifying. I want, I want gratifying, and I will write only welcome. « Two years later, in January 1889, Olga Trubnikova and Valentin Serov married in St Petersburg. After 10 years, in 1999, the artist has depicted their sons Yuri and Sasha in the film «Children» (Russian Museum, St. Petersburg).
Serov was a talented portraitist. His first models became friends and people close to him: writers, actors, artists. He often painted portraits of his friends: Rimsky-Korsakov Korovin, Repin, Levitan and Leskov.
For each new work the artist chose a particular style that emphasizes the individuality of its characters. For example, creating a painting «Portrait of Konstantin Korovin» (1891, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), the master painted his friend in a completely «Korovinskaya» manner, using large loose brushstrokes and colors inherent Korovin, enriching thus the personal characteristics of the artist. Home clothes, free posture and the whole surrounding surroundings very accurately convey the temperament and appearance of Constantine.
In a completely different manner to perform «Portrait of I. I. Levitana» (1893, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). For him, Serov finds other means of representation, a different, more discreet color. Aristocratic high forehead and graceful hand stand on the canvas two light spots, the rest is absorbed calm brownish shade. In the picture there is no object, though it hints at the kind of activities portrayed, although Levitan posed it in his workshop. For Serov much more important to convey the character of Svoge friend, his romanticism, melancholy, constant sadness, pensiveness and poetry.
Valentin Serov and led an active social life. Since 1894 he became involved in Peredvizhniki. Three years later, in 1897, he began teaching at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Among his students were artists such as Pavel Kuznetsov, Nikolay Ulyanov, Nikolay Sapunov, Martiros Saryan and Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin.
the artist’s interests are not limited to animals and portraits of friends as Serov himself said: «I’m still a little landscape.» His landscapes are remarkably concise and unpretentious, it does not prevent them incredibly subtly convey the mood of the surrounding nature. Moreover, the artist has been well developed instinct for choice amazing places for their landscapes.
Painter liked to work primarily on the image of the Russian countryside. The most he fell in love with the middle band Russia, which he beautifully and subtly portrayed in the films «Baba in a cart» (1896, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), «October» (1895, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), «winter» (1898, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), «rinse the laundry» (1891, whereabouts unknown), «a woman with a horse» (1898, State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow) and «Strigunov on watering» (1904, State Tretyakov gallery, Moscow).
At the beginning of the XX century, namely from 1900 to 1904, the artist was a member of the «World of Art». During this period, Serov carried away by way of the king-reformer Peter I, who spent some of his finest paintings. At this time, the artist begins a lively interest in the political processes taking place in his homeland. Perhaps this and generate interest in the figure of Peter, who lived as he Serov in an era of change.
Very significant piece of the artist «Peter I on hunting with hounds» (1903, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg). In the story of the painting, the young king decides to teach the nobles, boasts its success in hunting with hounds. Peter decides to prove the proud that their good fortune is entirely dependent on the skill of slaves-Psara. The king arranges hunting on which no Houndmaster, thus forcing the boyars themselves be controlled with a pack. Naturally, there is a complete bedlam, just for the fun of Peter. Many of the «venerable hunters’ fall from their horses, not being able to control the dog. In this work, Serov unusually reliably managed to convey the flavor and the Russian winter, and the mood of all participants in the scene.
The great Russian reformer dedicated to the artist, and a different picture, written a little later, in 1907 - «Peter I» (The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Here we see at the same time is very pompous and very dynamic, full of the spirit of the rapid transformation of the heroic age, the stage. Peter I is rapidly marching to meet the wind blows away virtually his entourage. The picture is intended to emphasize the greatness, the power and determination of the sovereign.
Serov had time to visit an academic, having been elected in 1903 a full member of the Academy of Arts. But it did not last long. Two years later the artist refuses to honorary status in protest against the mass shooting January 9, 1905.
Painter was also involved in the organization of the satirical publication «Bugbear», drawing cartoons for his political orientation. Also, about fifteen years Veer created animal illustrations to Krylov’s fables. It is these figures have become the favorite child of the artist, it is many times perekalkiroval them with special care searching desired traits and emotions. Even in adulthood Serov creates a number of masterpieces of neoclassicism and Russian modernism in painting and graphics, again proving its flexibility and the constant search for style and style of painting.
In 1907 Master visited Greece, which made a lasting impression on him for his sculptures and monuments. Serov created some decorative paintings, murals, dedicated to the ancient theme: «Odysseus and Nausicaa» (there are several variants) and a poetic tale of «The Rape of Europa» (both work in 1910, the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Shown in the last scene of bull-Zeus - a surprisingly lively, with very intelligent eyes, while the girl’s face, on the contrary, as an ancient mask, allegorical frozen and expressionless.
Like many artists of the time, Serov worked with theaters. His curtain for the ballet «Scheherazade», a true masterpiece of fine arts, created in 1911, enjoyed great success in London and Paris.
Best Russian portraitist
Glory talented portraitist Serov was for this bondage and curse. After 1895 an artist endlessly showered orders for portraits of bourgeois and aristocratic elite. Despite the enormous hard work, the artist wanted to paint was not secular people and animals, so with great enthusiasm worked on the illustrations to the fables. But with the growth of skill of the artist, has grown steadily and his glory best portraitist in Russia.
On the bright expressed Serov talent as an artist-psychologist says «Portrait of S. M. Botkinoy» (1899, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg). Painter could not stop myself from making secular portraits of a small amount of irony. Elegant Sofia Botkin in a luxurious gold dress, embroidered with artificial flowers, located on the sofa, upholstered in blue silk, richly embroidered with floral patterns. This annoyed the artist artsy interior luxury, over-abundance of gold and the lady herself, which he called «a bored barynkoy». Full of subtle irony job immediately after the release, dubbed «the lady on the sofa in the desert.»
Indeed, the artist so blurred the background picture, it seems to extend far into the depths, like the horizon. But this is not the most interesting thing in the portrait, against all the laws of composition, dismissed the metering Serov «barynku» from the center to the right, and exactly in the center leaf planted tiny Italian Greyhound discharged almost more care and love than her elegant and luxurious mistress. The artist was convinced that the presence of animals adds naturalness stressful postures and pretentious people.
The clearest example of what has been said above is a «Portrait of Grand Duke Paul» (1897, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). On it the prince himself is depicted in unnatural tense, as though frozen pose, while his horse - sensitive, live, with intelligent eyes - gives web dynamics and naturalness. During this formal portrait, who was one of the first portraits of this kind, in the artist’s career, Serov won the gold medal «Grand Prix» at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
The image on the portraits of animals became a kind of safety valve for the artist. For example, in «Portrait of Count Felix Sumarokov-Elston dog» (1903, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg) painter himself insisted on the presence on the canvas beloved dog, the young Count, who, in the end, it looks almost more significant his noble master. Same story with gorgeous white horse to «Portrait of Prince F. F. Yusupova» (1903, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg).
As acknowledged by Serov contemporaries, it was his hand belongs to the best portrait of the last Russian tsar. Painting «Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II» (1900, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), the artist was not easy, least of all suitable for the role of court painter, by their creative aspirations and spiritual outlook. The painter was already famous, had a great number of orders, which are often rejected because of the physical impossibility to do everything.
Serov write a portrait of the ruler of power, of course, did not want to, but also to deny the emperor himself, of course, could not. Portrait of a long time does not work. Most of all, the painter has plagued the Empress, which constantly interfere in the creative process with their advice. As a result, Serov broke down and gave her a brush with palette in hand, offering the most complete portrait, since it is so well versed in the art. Never former arrogant Nicholas, apologized to the artist for the indiscretion of his wife. But the portrait is still escaped a keen eye masters gave them the image of the emperor collapsed. Serov was extremely dissatisfied with himself, he could not finish a failed picture, it’s too much to his pride stung the best Russian portrait. In the end, the artist had to admit the emperor that he could not continue, as the portrait fails. Emperor Nicholas II, who dressed in a nondescript jacket officer of the Preobrazhensky Regiment, resigned to the situation, he sat down at the table, folded his hands in front of him and with genuine sadness looked at the portrait. It is this view, revealing the inner essence of the personality of the emperor, well characterized by its delicacy and vulnerability, and needed Serov.
Many years later, Konstantin Korovin, so respond to the canvas: «Serov first of artists caught gentleness, intelligence, and at the same time the weakness of the emperor, and imprinted them on the canvas...». According to its execution almost portrait sketches, but elaborately precise and harmonious, finished lyrical and simple. Sovereign surprising similarities noted by all his contemporaries. The artist managed to lightly brush, emphasized simple execution and understated color scheme, to concentrate the viewer’s attention on the Emperor’s eyes, showing not the emperor, but a simple man, with his anxieties, concerns and expectations. Through this approach, the portrait and was very successful. Unfortunately, the original paintings were destroyed in 1917, before we heard the author’s copy.
Often the artist wrote symbolic work. Such as the painting «Portrait of the Actress M. N. Ermolovoy» (1905, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). Architect Fyodor Shekhtel seeing the work, said: «It is a monument Yermolova». And, indeed, monumental painting, and she’s a great actress recalls antique sculpture or column, directed upwards. Head Yermolova spelled out against a background of a mirror, reflecting the ceiling, which creates the illusion of ascension actress figures like caryatids. Monochrome and intimate portraits like elevates character on a pedestal, at the same time emphasizing the exclusivity of printing and creative personality alone.
Painter liked to portray the artists in their theatrical roles. Serov created a remarkable «Portrait of Francesco Tamagno» (1903, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), where a great singer is embodied in the theatrical take, as seen on his throat a symbolic reflection of gold. Another example is the «Portrait of Chaliapin» (1905, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), who was famous for the fact that in real life almost never left the stage became a familiar image.
But the top of the artist’s skill was «Portrait of Ida Rubinstein» (1910, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg), depicted in the image of Cleopatra. Not for nothing choreographer Mikhail Fokine believed ballerina looks indispensable for fashion while ballet «Scheherazade» and «Cleopatra» in the famous Diaghilev seasons. The Idea was charismatic sophistication of modernity, a la Beardsley, and a perfect fit the tastes of the era. Rubeinshteyn appeared in «Cleopatra», barely covered almost transparent veil, which came up for her Lev Bakst.
The artist ingeniously combined in this painting art and life, bringing together theatrical character images with its stylish, Eastern exotic appearance. Cleopatra and Sobeide forever united in the silhouette of a ballerina, East alloys with Egypt on the thin edge of fiction and reality.
But a living person in this paradoxical merging of «theater of life» and «the truth of art» is defenseless in his nakedness. Mythological «beautiful nudity» fictional heroine suddenly transformed into shameless «undress» a particular real person, this is what has become the most poignant note portrait.
Naturally, when the portrait was presented to the public, he broke a terrible scandal. «Poor Ida Rubinstein... my poor, naked...» - comment on Serov himself, describing the scandal when, in spite of the waves rose with indignation, the portrait was purchased by the Museum of Alexander III.
The painting is executed in a modernist style. Clearly defined contours of the fragile body make the figure as if the relief on an absolutely flat background. Bright green scarf, virtually stranded in tow, running down a graceful ballerina ankles, resembling a serpent in the hour of death. This moment weaves as if by chance in the portrait theme of imminent death. heroine look almost absent, farewell, otherworldly, stopped by the artist in the almost imperceptible moment, when the rotation angle of the head even allows you to touch the eye. There is no doubt that this is the last, already doomed Egyptian queen look, which it sends into the world before you ever turn into stone.
This canvas is literally stunned Ilya Repin, like a thunderbolt out of the blue: «... and, like Venus from the sink, appeared» Ida Rubinstein «... I thought that the ceiling of our schepochnogo pavilion collapsed on me and pinned to the ground; I stood with the tongue, larynx Stuck to... «, described his impressions of the artist. Of course, secular critics have job ruthless spacing «bad imitation of Matisse,» «decadence», «monstrosity». But, despite all the criticisms violent cries, Serov was very proud of his work.
Each time, preparing for a new portrait, the painter sought to avoid any repetition of the angle, posture, gesture or entourage. He has long kept an eye on the new model, made sketches, searching for the most expressive pose for the hero and the most suitable to his interior.
Serov very long time to select a suitable setting for the couple portrait of the influential antiquarian Vladimir Hirschman. The artist wanted the interior stressed luster and elegance of this socialite, simultaneously simplifying and without diminishing its brilliant beauty. Master with great sympathy and warmth treated Henrietta Leopoldovna, considering it a «smart, educated, cultured, humble and simple, without pretensions of the rich upstarts and, moreover, very nice.» Painting «Portrait of Mr. L. Ghirshman» (1907, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow) is a refined sense and beautiful masterpiece of art.
The composition of the product is very simple. The only attracts more attention to the figure on the canvas is a magnificent young woman in a strict black suit, which he’d just risen from the dressing table and turned to the artist and the viewer. Perhaps she wanted to examine themselves in the mirror of the other, but between it and the opposite wall with a mirror was another artist who stopped by this turn of his brush and fixed forever gentle but exacting gaze ladies, drawing him to us. Beautiful Henrietta Leopoldovna gazes at the viewer, as if in a mirror, it looks as if demanding addressed to those who through the centuries will look at it. Strict black suit refreshing only a small snow-white boa that woman flirtatiously straightens his thin alabaster handle, studded with rings. Gracefully curved posture allows the heroine to build a second hand on the dressing table. Unlike luxury socialite, which the artist did not like, here we have a young, strict, but a beautiful woman, endowed with character and charm.
Valentin Aleksandrovich created on canvas game of mirrors, double reflection, marked only by the painter and open them to the viewer. He portrayed not only reflected in the mirror back Genrietty Girshman, but her vague smaller copy of the visible in the distant mirror, thus closing the circle and show the audience in the reflection of what is abroad canvas portrait. Serov also the first and last time for all his work painted on canvas open dialogue model and master. He portrayed himself in the reflection on the very edge of the mirror. While the artist’s face is distorted cut on it clearly reads the voltage with which he tries to do the work for this woman.
A very distinctive look-roentgen Serov Scarecrow many secular persons so that they were afraid to pose for him. The painter always saw clearly and objectively showed in his work portrayed the essence of man, the basis of his personality. Everyone knew that this artist to pose «dangerous», although Serov never cheated customers’ expectations, creating a magnificent and very realistic portraits, which they could be proud of.
The master knows that it is not interested in posing human appearance and its characteristics, which can be expressed on the canvas. Identified artists in his characters traits were often so unexpected for their owners, many times that he was accused of caricaturing. The master himself so commented on this: «What if the cartoon is sitting in the model, I somehow to blame? I just spotted, noticed. «
An example of such finely thought out and full of cartoon can be «Portrait of Princess O. K. Orlovoy» (1911, State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg). Igor Grabar wrote about Olge Orlovoy: «She could not stand, sit, talk or walk without any antics designed to emphasize that it is not just an ordinary aristocrat, and... the first lady of the court.» According to surviving contemporaries, the princess is not highly intelligent, virtually no interested in art, but it was the most elegant fashionable Petersburg, she spent a fortune on the most chic Parisian toilets. Numerous Orlova found Serov, who was just at the peak of popularity, worthy of honor for centuries to preserve the appearance of the socialite early XX century. That the artist did, albeit in his own way.
Painter began with the fact that the princess brought to the absurd position, seated on a low ottoman tall and slender Orlov, so that her sharp knees sticking up and forward. Luxurious coat slightly slipped, revealing a white elegant shoulder. The princess seemed to play a string of pearls, and this ambiguous gesture shows his hand on himself, as if to emphasize the significance and importance of his person. The compositional center of the painting has become a huge black hat heroine, which is clearly too much. It kills the model though, even dropping below its composition.
The pretext for such a situation was the situation as if the princess sat down for a minute waiting for his crew, is fully assembled to the exit. Orlova face expresses habitual nervous annoyance caused by the need to wait. Her high brow, puzzled raised, and raise his chin haughtily. Orlov holds ornate posture, even while in sleep alone, it causes almost vulgar arrogance, but affectation and unnatural refined socialite deliberately emphasized portraitist.
Behind the back of the Princess is a large vase, almost copying silhouette model. Depicted on the walls cast by the shadow of the vase, Serov deliberately distort it, in spite of the photographic precision of his eye. The outlines of the shadows more like the heroine of her paintings in a huge hat. Thus, the artist subtly hinted that the princess was as empty as the vase behind her. Not surprisingly, that the princess herself, and her fans were disappointed with the portrait, although the painter has depicted very carefully and folds expensive dress fabrics, and tide luxurious furs and elegant atmosphere around the heroine.
Serov was accused of subjectivity to the eagles, and that he did not use the most favorable qualities of the heroine - its elegance and high growth. However, this picture is once again proven sensitivity and insight of the artist. Zakazchitsa without regret gave a portrait of the Museum of Alexander III (the State Russian Museum of St. Petersburg), expressing the sole condition that he should not be exhibited in the same hall as the portrait of a naked Ida Rubinstein.
Each artist Vladimir D. von Derviz in his memoirs, wrote of him: «Valentin Aleksandrovich differed quite exceptional directness and simplicity, despite his that looks quite gentle nature, he was able to defend their views and never compromise your beliefs.»
The great painter died unexpectedly, the morning November 22, 1911, on the way to Shcherbatov house, where he was appointed a portrait session. The cause of early death Serov became angina. Lived only forty-six years, as many as thirty of them, Valentin Serov confidently and enthusiastically weave into the fabric of Russian Silver Age gold strokes his amazing solar masterpieces. While in the prime of creativity, the artist worked very hard. I bow before the talent of the painter, a poet Valeriy Bryusov wrote: «Serov was a realist in the best sense of the word. He saw the unmistakable secret truth of life, his works revealed the very essence of the phenomena that other eyes and does not see fail. «