Portrait e. And. Molchanova

The artist is Levitsky

In the seventies of the XVIII century, by order of Catherine II, Levitsky wrote a series "Smolinki", consisting of seven portraits of pupils of the Smolny Institute of noble girls – a privileged educational institution opened in St. Petersburg in 1764 by decree of the empress. Daughters of the nobles were prepared there for court service and social life. Talents brought up in girls, "Nice in society", – They were taught French and German, elegant manners, as well as sing, dance, play musical instruments. The Smolny Institute often arranged ideas where the Smolians played French comedies, and also performed in the ballet.

Molchanova Ekaterina Ivanovna (1758-1809). Daughter of a college adviser and. I AM. Molchanova, pupil of the wife of Ober-hegermeister m. I AM. Naryshkina, who identified her at the Smolny Institute (1764). In 1776 she graduated with a large gold medal and cipher of Catherine II. Since 1776, the maid of honor of Grand Duchess Maria Fedorovna, in the late 1770s-Catherine II. From 1780 married with. AND. Olsufiev, later Major General.

It is depicted in a white silk dress installed for pupils of the senior (fourth) age of the educational society of noble girls. On the right on the table – ANTLIA – a vacuum pump used as a guide for teaching Smolyans.

About the restoration of a series of paintings d. Levitsky "Smolinki" On the website of the Restoration Service of Museum Values

+ About the restoration of the work
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The state of safety before restoration:

Portrait e.And. Molchanova was the second of the Smolyanok series, entered the restoration. In the 1880s, he, like the remaining six portraits of the series, underwent a transfer procedure to a new canvas in the restoration workshop of the Hermitage. After that, due to storage in unheated rooms, he was repeatedly restored. As a result, the picturesque surface was very rewritten, the varnish coating darkened, individual records looked roughly and dissonated with the author. The author’s painting was struck by the “oil disease”, due to which the upper layers of painting, cracking when drying, compressed and form wide ruptures. The underlying layer of painting or soil shines through these ruptures, bringing its color and changing the tonality in the upper layer. In the process of existing, “oil breaks” were repeatedly painted over, which ultimately led to late correspondence of whole fragments. There were also separate losses of the colorful layer that were toned, but have changed very much in the color of reaching our time. The portrait needed research, conservation, clearing from dark varnishes and removing multi -layer changed records.

Complex of the events:

The studies have shown that the same restoration techniques were used on this portrait as on the portrait of g.And. Alymova. In addition, wax was found in some samples from the image of the dress. Due to the defeat with mold, areas with wax were very darkened and later recording repeatedly.

First of all, a complex of conservation measures was performed, as a result of which the painting was strengthened, the dilapidated edges of the translated canvas around the perimeter were duplicated. After the regeneration of the picturesque layer, layered clearance from old varnishes and records lying in the layers were performed. In the process of clearing interior details, a small opening was made. On a table, to the right of the figure e.And. Molchanova, the author depicted a device for laboratory experiments covered with a glass cap. The central part of the device was under a dense entry. After clearing on the painting, “oil ruptures” opened through which the oy-yellow-yellow colorful layer was visible. The study of this site and the very nature of the painting suggested that the author himself recorded small details inside the device, and the “oil gaps” partially revealed the author’s correspondence.

After restoration, as a result of clearing, painting acquired a clear spatial construction and a color scheme subordinate to this. Removing the dark layers of varnishes emphasized the expressiveness of warm and cold tones that enhance volumes and the depth of the interior.

Keeping a story. Restoration workshop of the Russian Museum – 100 years. SPb, 2022. With. 80.

Programs/Films about this work in the media text:

Portrait of E.I. Molchanova
D.G.Levitsky. By the 275th birthday
Creation year: 2010 | Video painting | Language: | Duration: 25:47

Dmitry Grigorievich Levitsky – one of the best portraitists in Russian history of painting. In this film, the director of the Russian Museum in.AND.Gusev talks about the work of the master and the history of his work on the series of portraits of the pupils of the Smolny Institute of noble girls.

Portrait of E.I. Molchanova
Dmitry Levitsky. “Smolinki”. Restoration of portraits
Creation year: 2010 | Interactive program | Language:

The multimedia program was released for an exhibition dedicated to the 275th anniversary of the birth of Dmitry Grigoryevich Levitsky in the Russian Museum. The program talks about the restoration of the famous “Smolyans” – seven portraits of pupils of the educational society of noble girls at the Smolny Institute.

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