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Bryullov quite rarely turned to portraiture. But if this happened, then his work has always been remarkable for the amazing simplicity of the hero's presentation.
So on this canvas we are presented with the great Russian poet Zhukovsky. The same Zhukovsky who shocked his contemporaries with the simplicity of the lyre. By the way, he will become a personal teacher of the Romanov family children much later. But this is a little later than the time when this portrait was painted.
The artist did not come up with a background, but it was necessary to somehow indicate the direction of the life of the person whom he depicted, and it was then that the idea arose to portray the poet sitting at the table. And here is Zhukovsky before us. His face, a little full, rather concise, calm. And in general from this person breathes something peaceful.
At first glance, you can’t say that this is the ruler of human thoughts and the educator of royalty. Although it is precisely such dignity that slips, but no more ... There is no pathos in this position, on the contrary, simplicity, a calm look, and humbly folded hands ...
Calm, complete calm comes from Zhukovsky and self-confidence.
According to contemporaries, Bryullov managed to convey precisely the most characteristic features of Zhukovsky - calm, moderation in life, self-confidence. Zhukovsky did a lot, wrote magnificent poems and was engaged in quite fruitful education of royal children. And by the way, he did it splendidly: it was thanks to him and his successful selection of knowledge that at least two emperors received a brilliant primary education.
Actually, Zhukovsky himself was brilliantly erudite, versed not only in Russian literature, but also spoke good English and French, knew the basics of history. And of course, he was included in the literary Olympus of the capital, and there, by the way, it was not far from Pushkin.
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