Sign up

Portrait of Catherine II in the form of icons in the temple of the goddess of Justice

Painting, 1780-th , 110×76.8 cm

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Catherine II in the form of icons in the temple of the goddess of Justice»

"Portrait of Catherine II in the form of icons in the temple of the goddess of Justice" known in multiple copies, made by Levitsky and his followers. This is one of the most solemn and the most at the time, popular images of the Russian autocrat. Version of the film presented here is stored in the State Tretyakov gallery.

Levitsky wrote Catherine a lot and often. In 1770, the years of his creative heyday, he performed at least 7 portraits of the Empress, in the next decade – 15 (here is the author's version with the same plot from the Russian Museum). However, with this number of portraits, there is no documentary evidence that Levitsky was honored to write his crowned model from nature. Russian artists, Ekaterina treated cool and Levitsky in this sense was no exception. With more interest she posed for German and French masters, which are in abundance were invited to work in Russia.

As, in this case, Levitsky managed to order the execution of the ceremonial portrait of the Queen designed to present to society the ideal image of the enlightened monarch – that is the problem, anyway, of national importance? The explanation is simple. The state Chancellor and his serene Highness, Secretary Catherine Alexander Bezborodkoknowing this kind of thing, once, and he studied at the Kiev Academy. He was a patron of the artist and full been helpful, generously funded by the Treasury.

However, the "Portrait of Catherine II of France in the temple of the goddess of Justice" is just not particularly needed in the presence of the model: with all its outward splendor, no individual characteristics of the character or temperament of Catherine it does not reflect. The idea of a portrait with his officious solemnity - pretentious and contrived, "literary" Empress wide, but full of grace with a gesture throws into the fire scarlet poppies.

According to the plan, Catherine is located in the temple of the goddess of Justice, whose sculpture can be seen in the upper right corner. In the writing of most of the Empress skill Levitsky not particularly shown, but it kompensiruet very reliable transmission of textures – scarlet velvet draperies, pleated satin dress in ivory, luxurious ermine mantle. The sea and the ship in the background to symbolize the Russian Maritime conquest and victory.

What is the meaning of the main action – burning on a small altar Smoking poppy flowers? The idea, according to Levitsky, belonged to the writer Nikolay Lvov. Poppies since ancient times was considered a symbol of sleep and rest. Throwing them into the fire, Catherine showed subjects as for the prosperity of their powers, she sacrifices his own rest and sleep, burning them on the altar of service to the state.

Author: Anna Yesterday
from 1450 rub
Buy a reproduction
I like5 To the selection13
Discuss
About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1780-th

Size: 110×76.8 cm

Artwork in selections: 13 selections

Other artworks by this artist
All artworks by the artist