Description of the painting by Valentin Serov “Portrait of Praskovya Mamontova”

Description of the painting by Valentin Serov “Portrait of Praskovya Mamontova”

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With the Mammoth Serov family, he maintained friendly relations throughout his life. He depicted the representatives of this family in more than ten paintings, drawings, and sketches, including in his most famous painting, “Girl with Peaches,” in which Vera Savvichna Mamontova was captured. Bred in another famous portrait of Praskovya Mamontov, this is Vera's cousin, daughter of the book publisher Anatoly Ivanovich Mamontov. These two outstanding works were written in the same years and were created under similar conditions.

At the time of painting, Praskovye was sixteen years old. If Vera in the portrait looks happy and cheerful, then her cousin sits sullenly, as if dissatisfied or frightened by something. Her gaze, directed in front of herself, expresses detachment and distrust of the surrounding world. In the general background of the image, as in the girl’s appearance, garnet and dark gray colors dominate, complementing the general feeling of tension. A simple red-gray dress of the girl is similar to the garnet background of the right side of the canvas, and the dark brown back of the chair on which she sits corresponds to the coloring of her dark hair.

The portrait of Praskovya Mamontova has a complicated history. For 130 years since its birth, this painting has repeatedly changed its owner, regularly exhibited in museums in different countries and cities. In 2012, the portrait, previously located in St. Petersburg, was sold at auction in London for a record amount of 1.2 million pounds. Now the picture is in a private collection.

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