Description of the painting by Konstantin Somov “Portrait of S. V. Rakhmaninov”

Description of the painting by Konstantin Somov “Portrait of S. V. Rakhmaninov”

Description of the painting by Konstantin Somov Portrait of S. V. Rakhmaninov

A portrait of the great composer Somov wrote among his later works. He collects all the most striking characteristics of his artistic style. Contemporaries argued that this portrait has become a favorite with Rachmaninoff. The pianist and the artist agreed that the author’s brushes managed to very accurately capture the inner world and soul of the musician.

The portrait came out rather concise, not overloaded with details and a complex background. Nothing distracts the somewhat sad and thoughtful face from the beautiful features. Such well-thought simplicity was inherent in the early works of Somov. Reception favorably emphasizes the elegance and thoroughness of the composition, the purity and accuracy of the palette, elegiac facial expressions.

The colors used are combined under the overall tonality – mostly light and dark shades of brown. The color scheme refers us to a retrospective, which Somov loved very much. The picture resembles a card in sepia, carefully kept by someone close in an old photo album.

The technique of using small strokes creates the effect of a smooth, enamel surface. So traditionally painted pictures in the eighteenth century. In principle, appeal to the old images and methods of painting is characteristic of all the artist’s works.

If you look closely, you can see that the composer’s right eye is written swollen and slightly larger in size than the left eye. The fact is that Rakhmaninov at that time suffered from pains of a neurological nature. The author’s sensitivity and attentiveness could not ignore such a detail. In general, the portrait focuses on the high intellectuality of his hero, the whole ensemble of emotions and experiences, which left an imprint on the melancholic expression on the face of Russia’s favorite composer.


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