Valentin Serov. Painting Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova, 1902

Painting Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova by Valentin Serov

Valentin Serov. Painting Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova, 1902
Valentin Serov. Painting Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova, 1902

Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova is a painting by Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov, a genius master of portrait painting, striking in its delicate, refined and noble range. Yusupova is depicted against the background of a luxurious interior, sitting on a satin sofa. A white spitz is located next to her. The heroine’s appearance is elegant, soft and emotionally expressive.

The portrait of a noble person looks natural, there is no far-fetched, frozen or unnecessary movements in it. The contrast of black and white, their restrained interactions completely line up the rhythm of the piece. Harmony, balance of color palette, proportions, compositional schemes distinguish the masterpiece of the great master. Items that complement the image of the princess are combined with each other either in color, or have a similar geometry.

The structural organization of the piece is based on the consonance of soft, rounded shapes. The plasticity of the figure, the neat bend of the sofa and the rocaille curls of the picture frames demonstrate the atmosphere of home comfort, highlight the sincere femininity of Yusupova’s appearance, her spiritual charm, irresistibility and majesty. The balanced combination of warm and cold colors also contributes to this.

Painting Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova by Valentin Serov a symbol of femininity of the era of “Russian Renaissance”

Pinkish-pearl tones emerge through the light gray and blue. Subtle, subtle shades, fragile strokes resemble the style of Japanese painting, endowing the pictorial masterpiece with a deep socio-cultural implication. In the portrait, one can feel the painter’s attempt to look at a contemporary through the historical prism of Russian and European aristocratic traditions. The artist paid much attention to the transmission of lighting. Light fills the entire canvas, all spatio-temporal facets, enriching the figure of the heroine and the objects around her with the necessary volume and brilliance.

Title of the painting: Portrait of Princess Z. N. Yusupova
Author: Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865-1911).
Year of writing: 1902
Size: 181.5 x 133 cm.
Style: Realism.
Genre: Portrait.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas.
Location: Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov is an outstanding Russian graphic artist and portrait painter of the 19th-20th centuries.

His brushes belong to ceremonial portraits of noble nobility, secular beauties, merchants, industrialists and generals. The master painstakingly and subtly wrote children’s images. Distinguished by exceptional professionalism, exactingness towards himself, the artist throughout his career strove to fully reveal the characters of his heroes.

The princess, the heiress of the oldest aristocratic family and the court lady of the Russian Empire, had a delicate taste, great tact and charm. Contemporaries described her as a beautiful woman, more than gifted with fate, but at the same time modest and kind-hearted. Yusupova devoted most of her life to charity work.

It was her deeply personal choice and motive. Under the supervision of the princess, there were shelters, hospitals, gymnasiums, Orthodox churches not only in the Northern capital, but throughout Russia. The artist painted the portrait by order of Zinaida Nikolaevna herself.

Serov treated all members of the Yusupov family with incredible warmth and often visited their estate near Moscow. The cycle of portraits of the legendary family created by the genius helps to understand the spirit of the times and reveals the secrets of the “Russian Renaissance” era. Painting by Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov: “Portrait of Princess ZN Yusupova” is a masterpiece of Russian art of world significance. This is a symbol of the dazzling radiance of the aristocracy and the triumph of the nobility of high society.