Vladimir Borovikovsky, (1757–1825)
Portrait of Elena Aleksandrovna Naryshkina (1785-1855), c. 1799
Oil on canvas
72.8 × 59.6 cm (28.6 × 23.4 in)
Elena Aleksandrovna Naryshkina, Serene Princess of Italy, Countess Suvorov-Rymniksky (1785 -1855 ) was a Russian noblewoman and maid of honour. Her portrait is one of the best female portraits painted by Borovikovsky at the end of the 18th century. More on Elena Aleksandrovna Naryshkina,
Vladimir Borovikovsky, (1757–1825) was a Russian painter of Ukrainian origin who dominated portraiture in Russia at the turn of the 19th century. Borovikovsky was born on July 24, 1757. His father, Luka Borovyk was a Ukrainian Cossack and an amateur icon painter. According to the family tradition, all four of Borovyk's sons served in Myrhorod regiment, but Volodymyr retired early at the rank of poruchik and devoted his life to art — mostly icon painting for local churches.
His friend Vasyl Kapnist was preparing an accommodation for Empress Catherine II in Kremenchuk during her travel to newly conquered Crimea. Kapnist asked Borovikovsky to paint two allegoric paintings (Peter I of Russia and Catherine II as peasants sowing seeds and Catherine II as a Minerva) for her rooms. The paintings so pleased the Empress that she requested that the painter move to Saint Petersburg.
For his first ten years in Saint Petersburg, he lived in the house of the poet, architect, musician and art theorist, Prince Nikolay Lvov, whose ideas strongly influenced Borovikovsky's art. At the age of 30 years, he was too old to attend Imperial Academy of Arts, so he took private lessons from Dmitry Levitzky and later from Austrian painter Johann Baptist Lampi.
In 1795 he was appointed an academician. He became a popular portrait painter and created about 500 portraits during his lifetime, 400 of which survived to the 21st century. More on Vladimir Borovikovsky
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