The famous painting “Allegory of Painting” by Russian artist Andrey Matveyev was painted in watercolor on oak canvas in 1725. It was a significant year for the painter. The picture was created and sent to the royal palace to express condolences to the wife of Peter I in connection with the death of the latter. Thanks to the king and his wife, he received a good education abroad, which he owed to the governor.
On canvas, the empress appeared in the image of the Roman goddess of wisdom – Minerva. The goddess is located high on the clouds. She looks down on the picture created by another allegorical character – Painting. A woman with great interest watches the work of the craftswoman. Painting is focused on its creation, because for her, this work is very important. Having painted a portrait of Minerva, she is trying to cajole her a little.
The masterpiece is made in halftone technology. This work was a breakthrough not only in the artist’s homeland, but also far beyond its borders. Creator of painting Andrei Matveyev created his masterpiece in the form of a plot on a secular theme. It was a new direction in art.
If you look closely at the picture, you can notice a certain uncertainty of the author of the work, when he painted the nude figure of Painting. She does not attract the attention of the viewer. All the attention is taken by the woman in the clouds. She lies on a cloud, as on a sofa, posing at the same time in an elegant pose. The artist tried his best to give her a resemblance to the great and powerful Empress Catherine I. And he succeeded.
The painter, above all, wanted to show not the images themselves, but the storyline of a work of art. His goal was to give the picture a deep inner content. The second thing he focused on was a palette of colors and a light brushstroke. The picture turned out excellent with deep meaningful meaning.