Savva Mamontov, being a patron of the arts and a collector well-known throughout the Russian Empire, was also a very close person for the artist Valentin Serov. Mamontov was a protege of many artists and artists, he organized home performances, venues for cultural events, and his estate in Abramtsevo became a real center of artistic life in Russia of that time.
Famous Russian artists lived and worked on the estate of Savva Mamontov, among them: Vrubel, Vasnetsov, Repin, Nesterov and Serov himself. By providing financial support to artists, the Mammoths made a significant contribution to the cultural development of Russia in the nineteenth century.
Serov’s artistic style especially attracted Savva Ivanovich Mamontov, it is known that his daughter Vera is the same famous girl with peaches depicted in Valentin Serov’s painting “Girl with Peaches”, which is currently kept in the Moscow Tretyakov Art Gallery.
The portrait of Savva Ivanovich Mamontov is made in oil on canvas, is a classic chamber-length portrait in the heat of realism. The background, made in dark colors, is intentionally tinted by Serov in order to emphasize the significance of the Mamontov figure. Particular attention is paid to the state of mind portrayed. The look of Savva Ivanovich Mamontov expresses interest and passion for his beloved work, as if at the moment being portrayed is busy not with a pose, but with careful consideration of another picture created, for example, by Vrubel. In the same look Mamontov is very warm and understanding.
The special significance of the figure being portrayed is emphasized by accents, such as a highlighted white collar under a dark jacket and a hand that is busily slipped into a trouser pocket to match the background.