“Auto portrait with a sister”, Borisov-Musatov – overview of the painting

“Auto portrait with a sister”, Borisov-Musatov – overview of the painting
“Auto portrait with a sister”, Borisov-Musatov - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Victor Borisov-Musatov
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1898

Overview of the painting :

Self-portrait with sister – Victor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov. Oil on canvas. 143 x 177 cm
   Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov is a unique master of the turn of the century, combining the aesthetics of symbolism in his work, which originated at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries, and “retrospective dreaminess”, characteristic of the masters of the art association “World of Art”.

   Images created by the artist are striking in their timeless detachment and mystery. As if frozen in a distant era, the heroes of “Auto Portrait with Sister” appear before the audience. Fourteen-year-old Elena, dressed in a dress of the 1840s, is the embodiment of fragile femininity, an almost ghostly vision.

   The artist, who has portrayed himself only halfway, seems to intentionally circumcise the “cadr”, snatched from the oblivion of the past, which was frayed by fog. Represented like the spirits of the empty noble nests, they cast perfect memories of the manor culture of the 19th century, according to which the era of the 1890s began to nostalgic.

   The pair portrait of Borisov-Musatov is consonant with the Tyutchevsky lines: “My soul is an elysium of shadows, unhealed shadows, bright and beautiful.”. Heroes freeze from the impossibility of expressing the drama of the human soul, its lack of sleep and therefore doomed to eternal silence .