Robert Lefevre

Portrait of Elizaveta Demidova

Portrait of Elizaveta Demidova
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Robert Lefevre
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 190x143 cm
Origin: France, Between 1800 and 1805

Lefevre was the favourite portraitist of Napoleon and his circle, and later court artist to Louis XVII and Charles X of France. This portrait of Elizaveta Demidova - wife of N. Demidov, the exceeding wealthy owner of mines and foundries in the Urals, Russia - demonstrates the artist's great professionalism in conveying a portrait likeness whilst also emphasising the rich setting and elegant attire. Commissioned portraits are often majestic and official, and the traditional accessories of such portraits are present here - the monumental column, the drapery and landscape - in combination with an impressive colour scheme, built up on contrasts of warm and cold tones, and a desire to show something of the sitter's character and inner thoughts. Demidova has sunk into thought, letting slip the book she was reading. The natural pose, the head tilted to one side and the thoughtful gaze emphasize the mood of melancholy contemplation. Judging by Demidova's age and dress in this portrait, it was probably taken during her stay in Paris, sometime between 1800 and 1805.

Style: Neo-Classicism
Source of entry: Mining Institute, Leningrad, 1935

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