Andrei Matveev - Andrei Matveev: Portrait of Princess...

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Andrei Matveev: Portrait of Princess Anastasiia P. Golitsyna (1728) Oil on canvas. Private collection, Moscow. During the reign of Peter the Great, Russia entered a period of rapid modernization and westernization. To accomplish this, St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 (to become a new, modern capital in 1712) and Russian artists were sent to study abroad. Among the first painters sent to Europe was Andrey Matveev. In 1716 Matveev went to Holland and Flanders, where he spent eleven years. He became the first Russian painter to be educated exclusively in the West. After his return in 1727, Matveev became one of the leading artists in Russia. In 1728 Matveev painted this Baroque portrait of princess Anastasiia Golitsyna, the wife of I. A. Golitsyn and a lady-in- waiting of the Empress Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great. It is interesting to note that Princess Golitsyna was accused of being a participant in the Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich's plot against his father. Exiled in 1718, she was allowed to return to the court four years later. Baroque painting is characterized by complex compositions, dramatic effects of light and shadow, lavish use of highlights, ornamentation, curved rather than straight lines, and the use of deep, rich colors and expressive gestures. All these characteristics are evident in Matveev's portrait of the princess. Although this painting is not complex in terms of the number of things represented on the canvas, it is complex in its technique and in the message that it conveys to the viewer. The subject is painted in a less formal style; the princess is not portrayed standing but rather from the waist up, perhaps sitting. This might be an indication of her subservient position at the court,
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especially after her return in 1722. Although she is not portrayed
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This note was uploaded on 11/05/2011 for the course ARH ARH2000 taught by Professor Karenroberts during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Andrei Matveev - Andrei Matveev: Portrait of Princess...

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