Zinaida Serebryakova. The painting “In front of the mirror. Self-portrait , 1909

The painting In front of the mirror. Self-portrait by Zinaida Serebryakova

Zinaida Serebryakova. The painting “In front of the mirror. Self-portrait , 1909
Zinaida Serebryakova. The painting “In front of the mirror. Self-portrait , 1909

In front of the mirror. Self-portrait is one of the most famous paintings by Zinaida Evgenievna Serebryakova (Serebryakova Zinaida Evgen’evna). In front of the viewer a young woman at the morning toilet. She wraps her right hand around her long brown hair, a rich copper shade, and is combing it with a black comb.

In the foreground there are useful feminine little things: perfume bottles, a cushion for pins and hairpins, jewelry boxes, a handkerchief. Behind the back, you can see the wide white doors and the uncomplicated interior of the bedroom on the right side there is a table with a basin, a water jug, a towel and other personal hygiene items.

To the left is a bed with lace pillows and a flowing sheet. A snow-white robe hangs on the wall, perhaps a dressing gown or a cape. The heroine of the portrait looks at the reflection in the mirror, admires her youth and beauty. In creating a light and relaxed mood of the picture, the color scheme, selected by the artist, played a role.

Warm and cold tones are harmoniously combined on canvas. The female figure is painted in a soft palette, and the bluish walls gleam with frosty freshness. One gets the impression that the room and everything that is in it is flooded with light and exudes a glow.

Title of the painting: “In front of the mirror. Self-portrait Author: Zinaida Evgenievna Serebryakova (1884-1967).
Year of writing: 1909.
Size: 65.5 x 75.2 cm.
Style: Realism.
Genre: Self-portrait.
Technique: Oil painting.
Material: Canvas on cardboard.
Location: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Zinaida Evgenievna Serebryakova is a famous Russian artist who worked in the first half of the twentieth century.

A master of portrait, landscape and everyday life, Serebryakova created vivid and emotional works in the style of realism. With the self-portrait “Before the Mirror” Zinaida Evgenievna made her debut at the spring exhibition of the Union of Artists in 1910 and immediately attracted the attention of the public. Serebryakova painted a self-portrait during the winter on a farm near the village of Neskuchnoye, Kursk province.

As the artist later recalled, the winter was early with heavy snowfalls, there were snowdrifts everywhere, and it was difficult to go out for walks. In order to somehow take her leisure time, Zinaida began to draw herself and fill the space of the canvas with all sorts of small things laid out on the dressing table.

The painting In front of the mirror. Self-portrait by Zinaida Serebryakova bright joy and genuine happiness of a young woman

Unlike her colleagues, who often use mirrors as an accessory, she included it in the plot in the form of a dark brown frame framing the portrait. And then she added another object a candle that exists in the real world and in its mirror image. The canvas was not yet completed when a letter came from his brother Eugene Lanceray with a proposal to send several new paintings to seasonal exhibitions in St. Petersburg.

Serebryakova decided to send “Before the Mirror” and two more earlier works “Self-portrait” and “Portrait of My Nanny”. The work received positive reviews from critics, including praise from Alexandre Benois. The painter called the portrait “a joyful thing”, executed with “complete spontaneity and simplicity.”

It was precisely the lack of cutesyness, mannerism and feigned emotions that the work attracted other spectators as well. The painting “In front of the mirror. Self-portrait “by Zinaida Serebryakova immediately after the exhibition was bought by a representative of the Tretyakov Gallery. There she is still exhibited, occasionally leaving for major thematic events. It is known that the collection of the artist’s heirs contains sketches for the masterpiece, made in pencil and watercolors. But neither the sketches themselves, nor their photographs appeared in the public domain.