Looking at the paintings of famous portrait painters, one involuntarily thinks about the heroines of these canvases. Who were they - the muses of the great masters? Women gazing from portraits lived in their era and inspired artists. Today they look at us through time and seem to be trying to reveal the secret of being.
"Portrait of Maria Lopukhina" by Vladimir Borovikovsky
An arrogant beauty with a graceful figure - 18-year-old Countess Lopukhina, nee Tolstaya. The artist received an order for a portrait of a young countess from her new husband. Stepan Lopukhin served as the jägermeister of Paul I. In an effort to impress his young wife with generosity, he wished to capture the beauty of his wife.
In the portrait, the girl looks quite healthy: sparkle in her eyes, a playful look, a slight blush. The Countess is depicted as a forest nymph against the backdrop of nature. The cornflower-blue tones in the background are in harmony with the color of the wide belt. It would seem that nothing bodes well.
However, the newlywed union turned out to be unhappy. The couple did not have time to have children. Maria Lopukhina fell ill with consumption shortly after the wedding and died five years later. The picture was overgrown with bad rumors. It was rumored that death would overtake everyone who looked at the portrait.
Maria's father Ivan Tolstoy was fond of mysticism. Some believed: grieving for his daughter, he imprisoned her soul in a portrait. At one time, the picture was hidden so as not to bring misfortune to people. Maecenas Pavel Tretyakov personally tracked down the famous portrait.
"Horsewoman" by Karl Bryullov
The painting depicts Yulia Samoilova, the first beauty of Petersburg and the great muse of the painter Karl Bryullov. The girl married unsuccessfully and was widowed early. Soon Yulia Samoilova moved to Italy. There she met the famous composer Giovanni Pacini. Friendship soon grew into love.
The composer raised two daughters: Amatsilia and Giovanina. Yulia Samoilova warmly received them. She later moved to Paris, where she died in complete poverty. The fate of the pupils of Yulia Samoilova remained unknown.
"Beauty" by Boris Kustodiev
The famous artist worked on the portrait, suffering from severe pain caused by a spinal cord tumor. Kustodiev persuaded the famous theater actress Faina Shevchenko to pose for him naked. In those days, critics and audiences admired her talent and vibrant beauty.
Faina Shevchenko refused to pose naked for a long time. Arguing against the artist, she indignantly declared that she did not want to dishonor herself in front of thousands of people. After a while, the actress gave up. This is how a portrait of a puffy, puffy merchant woman appeared.
The luxurious model and the famous master met again at the exhibition. Faina Shevchenko, indignant, noted that she was too fat in the portrait. To which the artist replied, kissing her hand: "What it is." Faina Shevchenko devoted many years to working in theater and cinema. She lived a fruitful creative life and died at an advanced age.
Unknown by Ivan Kramskoy
The portrait has repeatedly found itself in the center of heated discussions. A beautiful mystery woman seems to defy her with her disdainful gaze. In fact, Ivan Kramskoy painted a portrait of his daughter Sophia. Little information has been preserved about the father's favorite.
It is known that she earned the status of "unreliable" and was repressed. Sophia inherited her father's talent, was fond of painting, often posed for her father's works. Vera Tretyakova, who was the same age as Sophia, described her as not very beautiful, but lively, cheerful and unusually talented girl.
By the age of 16, Sophia blossomed. The young artist danced beautifully and attracted the attention of fans with her extremely sharp mind and endless charm. Sophia fell in love with a promising young doctor Sergei Botkin. The engagement took place, preparations for the wedding were in full swing. Sophia was as happy as ever.
However, a few days before the celebration, the young man broke off the engagement. Sergei Botkin hastily married Sophia's friend. The girl was very upset by the betrayal of a loved one and was left alone for a long time. She accepted a marriage proposal from Georgy Juncker at the age of 35, when she was already a famous artist.
Unfortunately, during the Civil War and the October Revolution, most of Sophia Kramskoy's paintings were destroyed. The new authorities persecuted her for helping representatives of the former nobility. In 1930, the Bolsheviks arrested Sophia. She was charged with counter-revolutionary propaganda. A year later, the artist was pardoned, and a year after her release, she died.
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