Lady in blue, Konstantin Andreevich Somov

Lady in blue, Konstantin Andreevich Somov
Lady in blue, Konstantin Andreevich Somov - 1

  • Posted by Konstantin Andreevich Somov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1897-1900

Overview of the painting :

The lady in blue is Konstantin Andreevich Somov. 1897-1900. Oil on canvas. 103×103
   “Lady in Blue” is a portrait-picture depicting artist E. M. Martynova is a close friend of the author and his fellow at the Academy of Arts. Before us is an old stylized park and a woman dressed in a luxurious dress of the 18th century with her complex emotional world. A retrospective portrait created by the artist is a new phenomenon in Russian art. The details of the “galan age” and the refined appearance of the yearning lady of the Silver Age, which are united in the picture, ultimately convey the spirit of a complex and controversial era.

   The composition is based on a comparison of plans and their coloristic solution. A slender female figure is ideally inscribed in the square format of the canvas, which gives the portrait a certain representativeness. The overflows of the deep blue robes of the heroine hone the transparency of the bluish shadows of a finely written face, open fragile shoulders, emphasize the expressiveness of the gesture of beautiful hands. The whole plastic model recalls the great masters of past eras. An old park with a pond and a pair of music in the distance clearly contrasts with the mood of the portraised. It is rather a memory park in which time damped all the colors, and the leaves of the bush, which is the background for the figure in blue, are a strange “inanimate” color (this happens in the old faded tapestries). The connecting link between the past and the present here is the male figure, in the guise of which the author of the picture guesses.

   In the work of Somov (1869-1939) a portrait of E. M. Martynova has a special place, he will never again create anything equivalent to “Lady in the Blue” in terms of the elevation, poeticity and purity of the image, in the power of expressiveness and achieved by some “absolute” of artistic embodiment.