The portrait of Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov’s daughter, Olga Nesterova, was written by her father in 1906, becoming one of the first works of the artist in portrait genre. The painting is also known as “Amazon”; it shows a slender young girl in a black Amazon and a small red cap standing on the bank of the river. Olga slightly bowed her head, trustingly looking with wide open blue eyes. Its dark silhouette especially distinctly appears against the background of the river and beyond the river meadows lit at sunset.
In this portrait, as in all the works of the artist, Nesterov shows great attention to subtle shades of the soul and the smallest features of the face. The painter is trying to reflect the reality as he sees it, in all the variety of colors. The picture is imbued with the beauty and grandeur of youth, life-affirming force. The look of the girl seems a bit sad and detached from the outside world, but at the same time expresses recognition and immense admiration for him.
The portrait of Olga Mikhailovna Nesterova is one of several paintings dedicated to the artist’s family. There is information that at that time the daughter was ill and was preparing for a serious operation, in connection with which Mikhail Vasilyevich, fearing a possible early separation from her, sought to capture her features in the portrait. Like her father, Olga also subsequently engaged in the visual arts, although she never received any artistic education: she embroidered silk on canvas, as the goldsmiths did in the past.