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Vladimir Borovikovsky is a virtuoso portrait painter of Ukrainian descent, he has been painting the high society of Russia all his life. Recognition came to him relatively late, but during his short career as a painter, he managed to get the title of academician.
"Portrait of Prince A. Kurakin" - this is the pinnacle of the artist. It was on this canvas that Borovikovsky could very accurately convey the pathos characteristic of the Russian nobility of the Enlightenment. On a huge canvas, measuring 260x175, the author depicted Alexander Kurakin, vice chancellor, member of the State Council and close associate Paul I.
The first thing that catches your eye when looking at a portrait is the situation depicted in the picture. No one will even have a question, then, that this portrait is staged. But on what it is worth focusing your attention - the details that Borovikovsky so completely filled the canvas. The portrayed person froze in an officially pretentious pose. He is leaning on a table that is littered with papers and letters, indicating that we are facing a high-ranking figure.
It is no coincidence that Kurakin froze next to the bust of Paul I, and behind him there is a beautiful view of the Mikhailovsky Palace. These details remind that Kurakin is an approximate emperor with whom they were brought up together. However, all these details do not distract our attention from the face of the model, which the artist made the center of composition. Nothing is of such interest as the face of a person who has received everything a mere mortal can dream of: an honorable position in society and the title of a nobleman who loves luxury. This face, sleek and puffy, very subtly characterizes a noble person.
At first glance, it seems that the compositional solution of the picture is no different from other portraits of that time. It is necessary to pay attention to the masterly painting technique of Borovikovsky. How accurately does the artist depict a pampered person in a rich camisole, a strewn order and awards to the state.