Portrait of the princess Praskovya Ioannovna, Ivan Nikitich Nikitin – overview

Portrait of the princess Praskovya Ioannovna, Ivan Nikitich Nikitin – overview
Portrait of the princess Praskovya Ioannovna, Ivan Nikitich Nikitin - overview - 1

    • Posted by Ivan Nikitich Nikitin
    • Museum: Russian Museum
    • Year: 1714

Overview of the painting :

Portrait of the Princess of Praskovya Ioannovna – Ivan Nikitich Nikitin. Oil on canvas. 88 x 67.5 cm
The first secular ceremonial portraits – parsuns that are very popular, begin to appear in Russian art of the XVII century. They have a lot from icons – static postures, flat-screen images, but artists gradually mastered the techniques of foreign masters, learned to convey individual features, image volume. At the very origins of the Russian portrait is Ivan Nikitich Nikitin.

Before us is one of the first works of the painter – an image of Praskovya Ioannovna, niece of Peter I .

A confident young girl dressed in an expensive golden silver brocade dress. An alai velvet mantle, shone with fluffy fur, is thrown on top of one shoulder. Its edges are held by a dark metal clasp in the form of a flower, decorated with mysteriously flickering precious stones. The finest snow-white lace around the edge of a deep neckline emphasizes the beauty and tenderness of the girl’s chest, the smooth line of the shoulders.

Dark-fingered hair is removed in a high hairstyle, a tight curl lies on its right shoulder. Two small strands of waves frame a clean forehead. In a scattered light, the pale-creamy skin of a calm face shines softly, a gentle blush lies on the cheeks, a slight smile lurks in the corners of compressed coral lips. A slightly detached look of large, expressive eyes is full of self-esteem. In them, the mind and inner strength glows.

The artist uses a little paint – on a dark, almost black background, juicy red, warm creamy peach and pinkish-white shades seem brighter. Different palette are added by cold silver and golden brown halftones.

With inconspicuous strokes, the master manages to convey the brilliance of heavy brocade, the silky of fluffy fur, the radiance of delicate skin.

Before us is a real living girl. Behind the fragility of the image lies stamina and self-confidence. The painter managed to correctly convey the inner world of the princess, who in a few years will marry her beloved man against the will of the king. An amazing portrait full of charm and warmth.