Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title At the Boundaries of 18th-Century Russian Portraiture
Author email
About author Karev, Andrey Aleksandrovich — full doctor, professor. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, 1, 119991 Moscow, Russian Federation; principal research associate. Research Institute of Theory and History of Fine Arts pf the Russian Academy of Arts, Prechistenka, 21, 119034 Moscow, Russian Federation.
In the section Russian Art in the 18th–19th Centuries DOI10.18688/aa200-2-20
Year 2020 Volume 10 Pages 220229
Type of article RAR Index UDK 75.041.5. Index BBK 85.103 (2)6.

The consideration of the boundaries of 18th-century Russian portrait painting is usually associated with the study of the nature and originality of the phenomenon, which involves a look from the inside out. Meanwhile, the consideration of the “boundary” area itself could provide information about contacts with “neighbors”and the opportunities provided by the time and patron. The18th-century Russian portrait painting has been chosen as an example because it by the end of the century accumulated the highest achievements in national artistic culture.

Special attention has been paid to the lower chronological boundary, which lies between the late medieval “personа” and the portraiture of modern times. Arrangement of the “side” boundaries of portraiture is connected with the addition of a full system of genres encouraged by the Imperial Academy of Arts. Among other genres, the allegory became one of the most widely used in portraiture. Having already appeared in the 18th century, the era of classicism, allegory became the important link between the portrait image and historical painting. When comparing two images of the same person, for example, a monarch in portraiture versus allegorical painting, a change is observed in the status of a hero towards greater historization. Another variant of the boundary area is created by the interaction between a model figure and landscape background. The appearance of “promenade-portrait” with a fairly developed landscape environment coincided in Russia with the formation of the landscape as a separate “kind of painting”. A portraiture approach to staffage canbe considered a symptom of the beginning of the convergence of these genres. The influence of genre painting on portraiture was not great because genre painting itself was not well developed in 18th-century Russia. In general, the example of the portraiture form shows that the boundaries of the genre are the subjects of certain convention and their transparency is the testament of the living memory of the former syncretic integrity and the sign of readiness for a new synthesis. 


Reference Karev, Andrey A. At the Boundaries of 18th-Century Russian Portraiture. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 10. Ed: A. V. Zakharova, S. V. Maltseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova. — Lomonosov Moscow State University / St. Petersburg: NP-Print, 2020, pp. 220–229. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Androsov S. O. Zhivopisets Ivan Nikitin (Painter Ivan Nikitin). St. Petersburg, Dmitrii Bulanin Publ., 1998. 212 p. (in Russian).
  • Bruk Ya. V.; Iovlevа L. I. (eds.). Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Seriia: Zhivopis’ XVIII– XX vekov, T. 2: Zhivopis’ XVIII veka (State Tretyakov gallery. Catalogue of the Collection. Series: Painting of the 18th–20th Centuries, vol. 2, Painting of the 18th Century). Moscow, State Tretyakov gallery Publ., 2000. 408 p. (in Russian).
  • Buseva-Davydova I. L. Kul’tura i iskusstvo v epokhu peremen. Rossiia semnadtsatogo stoletiia (Culture and Art in the Era of Change. Russia in the 17th Century). Moscow, Indrik Publ., 2008. 364 p. (in Russian).
  • Bykova Yu. I. Chastnyi zakaz v russkom iskusstve XVIII — nachala XIX veka i kniaz’ia Kurakiny (Private Ordering in Russian Art of 18th — Early 19th Century and the Princes Kurakin). Moscow, BuksMArt Publ., 2016. 360 p. (in Russian).
  • Daniehl’ S. M. Iskusstvo videt’: O tvorcheskikh sposobnostiakh vospriiatiia, o iazyke linii i krasok i o vospitanii zritelia (The Art of Seeing: On the Creative Abilities of Perception, the Language of Lines and Colours, and On the Education of the Viewer). Leningrad, Iskusstvo Publ., 1990. 223 p. (in Russian).
  • Evangulova O. S. Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo v Rossii pervoi chetverti XVIII veka: Problemy stanovleniia khudozhestvennykh printsipov Novogo vremeni (Fine Arts in Russia in the First Quarter of the 18th Century: Problems of Formation of the Artistic Principles of the Modern Time). Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University Publ., 1987. 296 p. (in Russian).
  • Leniashin V. (ed.). Gosudarstvennyi Russkii muzei. Zhivopis’ XVIII–XX veka. Katalog. T. 1. Zhivopis’. XVIII vek. (State Russian Museum. Painting of the 18th‑20th Centuries. Catalogue. Vol. 1, Painting of the 18th Century). St. Petersburg, Palace Editions Publ., 1998. 206 p. (in Russian).
  • Il’ina T. V. Na perelome. Russkoe iskusstvo serediny XVIII veka (At the Turn. Russian Art of the Middle of the 18th Century). St. Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg University Publ., 2010. 240 p. (in Russian).
  • Karev A. A. Modifikatsii portretnogo obraza v russkoi khudozhestvennoi kul’ture XVIII veka (The Modification of the Portrait Image in the Russian Artistic Culture of the 18th Century). Moscow, Prometei Publ., 2006. 220 p. (in Russian).
  • Kolmogorova E. E. “Portrait in the Portrait” Motive and Family Representation in the Russian Painting of the Second Half of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Zakharova A. V.; Maltseva S. V. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 4. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2014, pp. 441–446 (in Russian).
  • Kolmogorova E. E. Family Portraiture in 18th Century Russia and All-European Artistic Heritage. Zakharova A. V.; Maltseva S. V.; Staniukovich-Denisova E. Iu. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 6. Saint Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2016, pp. 543–551 (in Russian).
  • Koroleva V. I. “Artists of Cameos” in Russia in the 1750s — Early 19th Century. Maltseva S. V.; Staniukovich-Denisova E. Iu.; Zakharova A. V. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 5. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2015, pp. 581–589 (in Russian).
  • Kuznetsov S. O. A Series of Portraits of St. Vladimir Order Cavaliers by D. G. Levitsky. From the History of Creation and Existence of Works. D. G. Levitskii. 1735–1822. Sbornik nauchnykh trudov (D. G. Levitsky. 1735–1822. Collection of Proceedings). Leningrad, State Russian Museum Publ., 1987, pp. 78–87 (in Russian).
  • Makhov A. E. (ed.). Emblemata et symbola (Emblems and Symbols). Moscow, Intrada Publ., 2000. 368 p. (in Russian).
  • Moiseeva S. V. “…K luchshim uspekham i slave Akademii”: Zhivopisnye klassy Sankt-Peterburgskoi Akademii khudozhestv XVIII — pervoi poloviny XIX veka (“… To the Best of Success and Glory of the Academy”: Painting Classes at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts of the 18th — the First Half of the 19th Century). St. Petersburg, Dmitrii Bulanin Publ., 2014. 216 p. (in Russian).
  • Shepelev L. E. Tituly, mundiry, ordena v Rossiiskoi imperii (The Titles, Uniforms, Orders in the Russian Empire). Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1991. 224 p. (in Russian).
  • Skvortcova E. Portrait of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna by Georg Kaspar von Prenner (1754, State Tretyakov Gallery) and European Tradition of Portraits in Flower Wreath. Zakharova A. V.; Mal’tseva S. V.; Staniukovich-Denisova E. Iu. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 10. Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University; St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2020.
  • Sokolov M. N. Misteriia sosedstva: K metamorfologii iskusstva Vozrozhdeniia (Mystery of Neighbourhood: The Metamorphology of the Renaissance Art). Moscow, Progress-Traditsiia Publ., 1999. 520 p. (in Russian).
  • Tyukhmeneva E. A. Iskusstvo triumfal’nykh vrat v Rossii pervoj poloviny XVIII veka: Problemy panegiricheskogo napravleniya (The Art of the Triumphal Arch in Russia in the First Half of the 18th Century: Problems of Panegyric Direction). Moscow, Progress-Traditsiia Publ., 2005. 328 p. (in Russian).