Ivan Kramskoy. Painting Stranger, 1883

Painting Stranger by Ivan Kramskoy

Ivan Kramskoy. Painting Stranger, 1883
Ivan Kramskoy. Painting Stranger, 1883

Painting Stranger is a painting by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, painted in 1883. The portrait intrigues the viewer at first sight. The artist captured a young woman sitting in a stroller.

The painting Stranger by Ivan Kramskoy is the most intriguing work of the great painter

The stranger is dressed very impressively and fashionably: a hat with feathers, gloves made of thin leather, a coat trimmed with sable fur, a muff, gold jewelry. All this looks expensive, but does not correspond to the image of a representative of the high society, who should not be proud of her position.

The author wrote out a stranger boldly and juicy, impressing with a masterful drawing of details, depth of color. Light frosty Petersburg in the background, on the contrary, is made in pink and pastel colors. Such a background sets off the bright appearance of the heroine, emphasizes her inconsistency with the standards and rules of high society.

Author: Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy (1837-1887).
Year of writing: 1883
Size: 75.5 x 99 cm.
Style: Realism.
Genre: Portrait.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas.
Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy is an outstanding Russian artist who worked in the 19th century and became one of the founders of the Itinerant Association.

He became famous not only as a talented portrait painter, but also as a master of genre painting, filled with deep meaning. The painting Stranger combines these two directions of Kramskoy’s work. On the one hand – a portrait of a mysterious lady, on the other – an illustration of the peculiarities of the social and social order of that time.

Ivan Kramskoy presented the painting Stranger at the exhibition of the Itinerants in 1883. The artist was so worried about the fate of his work that he even left the event, returning only at the very end and learning that the mysterious portrait made a splash among the audience.

Ivan Kramskoy. Study for the painting Stranger, private collection
Ivan Kramskoy. Study for the painting Stranger, private collection

Everyone was interested in the personality of a mysterious stranger.

However, neither the author himself, nor his letters, nor entries in the diaries ever shed light on this mystery. There are many assumptions about the personality of the beauty depicted in the picture. According to one of them, “Unknown” is the personification of the literary characters of Anna Karenina or Nastasya Filippovna.

Her face expresses arrogance and arrogance, insolence, a thirst for power and satiety. In the final version, the artist softened the image of the beauty, filled her features with sensuality and nobility, added a hidden sadness and depth to the look. All this contributed to the creation of a halo of romantic mystery around the picture.

The painting Stranger by Ivan Kramskoy is a famous portrait of a mysterious stranger. Contemporaries called her a cocotte and a kept woman. In the 20th century, her image became the embodiment of feminine beauty. But the secret of the heroine’s personality remained unsolved.