Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich by Valentin Serov is a reflection of the cold arrogance of a Russian nobleman of the late 19th century
The portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich is a famous painting by Valentin Alexandrovich Serov, painted in 1897 by order of the leadership of the Life Guards Horse Regiment. The Grand Duke, dressed in the uniform of a general, stands in a tense and haughty pose. Next to Pavel Alexandrovich is a thoroughbred stallion with a white spot on his forehead, an expressive muzzle, and sensitive eyes. A black horse is held by a batman. In the background you can see an army lined up. Serov masterfully drew all the significant details – a white tunic with a silvery sheen, a golden cuirass, a helmet. At the same time, the author deliberately chose a contrasting palette to emphasize the solemnity of the moment.
Name of the painting: “Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich.”
Author: Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865-1911). Year of writing: 1897
Size: 149.5 x 166.7 cm.
Technique: Oil painting.
Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, St. Petersburg.
Valentin Serov is a talented portrait painter who worked in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The ingenious Russian artist worked mainly in the style of realism, but in the “Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich” one can see the impressionistic style of painting. In addition, the author used a technique that is very rarely used when creating ceremonial portraits. He built the composition at the intersection of a light vertical and a dark horizontal – a man in a white tunic against the background of a black horse. Also noteworthy is the sharp contrast between the intense mask-like face of the Grand Duke and the lively muzzle of a stallion.
The master brilliantly filled out the art form, but did not pay enough attention to the analysis of the hero’s inner world. The painting “Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich” by Valentin Serov was honored to be presented at the Paris World Exhibition of 1900. The chairmen of the jury highly appreciated the skill of the artist and awarded the work the highest award – the Grand Prix. Now the work is stored in the Tretyakov Gallery and evokes admiring reviews from visitors.