In the warm summer of 1873, the Russian artist Ivan Kramskoy, painted one of his famous works “Examination of the Old House”, and lived in the estate near Yasnaya Polyana (the estate of the Tolstoy family). Therefore, the artist certainly decided to take the time to visit the estate of the famous Russian writer and to depict Leo Tolstoy on canvas.
Unfortunately, Count Tolstoy did not want to pose for an artist for a very long time, and in general he was not very good at portraits. As is known from the letters of Count Tretyakov, he persuaded him to pose for a portrait for a very long time, but he did not succeed. But the artist Ivan Kramskoy managed to convince him.
In this famous image of a talented writer Kramskoy very clearly displayed his talent as a psychologist. The dark, nondescript, not attracting attention to the background of the portrait allowed the author to draw all the attention to the depicted character of the work.
Kramskoy very skillfully managed to convey the inner state of Count Tolstoy. His gaze full of attention and cold looks at the viewer very astutely. It is this deep look that says, says that we have a terrific analyst who is able to look into the very depths of the human soul. With one heavy look, he can penetrate the essence of life.
In his work, the artist tried as much as possible to demonstrate the integrity of the creative nature of Count Tolstoy, his unknowable strength of will and incredible intelligence. And as we can see, the artist succeeded.
The graph is very democratic, it once again underlines the popular character of his appearance. As you know, Leo Tolstoy was very close to the Russian people.
According to many experts, the portrait of the genius Leo Tolstoy is recognized as one of the best paintings of Kramskoy, painted by the artist in all his long life.