Self -portrait with his wife

The artist is Matveev

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Near landscape works, masterpieces of portrait painting are exhibited, decorating the historical exhibition of the Tauride Palace. This is the famous portrait of nineteen -year -old Sergei Grigoryevich Stroganov’s brush Ivan Nikitin and a unique “self -portrait with his wife” of the work of Andrei Matveev.

All the power of picturesque talent, intelligence, openness, purity of feelings was put by Andrei Matveev in “Self -portrait with wife Irina Stepanovna”, written in the year of the artist’s marriage to young Irina Stepanovna Anthropova, the daughter of a blacksmithing master of the office, cousin of the well -known painter Alexei Anthropov. At this time, the artist was twenty -seven years old, and she was fourteen.

Portrait is a unique work, because this is the first self -portrait in Russian painting. But he is interesting not only by the fact that for the first time the Russian master decides to draw attention to his person, but also so openly declares his feelings, talks about love with unprecedented ardor, trepidity and chastity. Matveev glorified a woman that was simple by origin as a faithful companion of a man worthy of love and respect, which sounds even in the name of the picture, in the presentation of a heroine by name and patronymic. Excitedly and at the same time extremely delicately tells the artist about that deep -hidden, which was not previously customary to mention. How many hidden admiration and tenderness are felt in the gesture with which he brings his girlfriend to the edge of the picture. With what pleasure he notes the singing line of her neck, a soft line of shoulders, a slightly noticeable smile on her lips, a slightly muffled glossy eye. A trembling gesture of connected hands, a light touch of the shoulders, a barely perceptible turn towards each other – everything speaks of mutual love and unusually delicate attitude towards each other.

For a long time, the portrait was stored with the youngest son of an artist, Vasily, who passed the work shortly before his death, in 1808, as a gift of the Academy of Arts. On the back of the picture, the inscription, preserved data: “Matveev, Andrey, the first Russian painter and his wife. The artist himself wrote “.

E.AT.Amphilokhiev, e.AT.Stankevich and N.AND.Fedorova. Materials for a virtual tour of the exhibition "Diaghilev. Start". 2009

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Presumably dates back to 1729 – the time of marriage of the artist (portrait of Peter’s Time 1973, with. 61; Ilyina, Rimskaya-Korsakova 1984. With. 112; Timing 1998, with. 125. No. 311). Some authors believed that a woman is much older than the wife of Matveeva (who was 16 years old in the year of writing) and the portrait depicts Princess Anna Leopoldovna and her husband Duke Anton-Ulrich Braunschweig (Molieva, Beluin 1965. With. 100–103). Technological study found that the woman’s face was “aged” with late correspondence (Ilyina, Rimskaya-Korsakova 1984. With. 118–119 and 278–281).

Peter I. Time and environment. SPb, 2015. With. 117.

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