Russian painting

Portrait of Count Ivan Grigorievich Orlov, Rokotov - description

  • Author: Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: Between 1762 and 1765
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Portrait of Count Ivan Grigorievich Orlov - Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov. Between 1762 and 1765. Oil, canvas. 58.5x46.5

Rokotov's creativity opens the period of the brilliant flourishing of Russian portrait painting of the second half of the 18th century. Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about the artist's life.
The portrait character is one of the Orlov brothers., newly minted nobles who contributed to the construction of Catherine II on the throne and were showered with royal favors. Rokotov also owns a portrait of Grigory Orlov, the favorite of the empress and, apparently, the third brother of Alexei, a participant in the defeat of the Turkish fleet in a naval battle near Chesma.
Ivan Orlov was an extraordinary man. He did not succumb to the temptation of the court career, and after receiving the count title and the rank of captain of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment, he retired and later refused the ranks and insignia. Orlov preferred economic activity to the state service and jealously ruled the enormous wealth and numerous estates of the family. He was proud of the role of the eldest in the race and the affection of his famous brothers, who, when he appeared, stood up as a sign of respect.
Orlov presented on the portrait dressed in an expensive caftan, his posture is calm and proud, in the expression of his face through the mask of noble courtesy, one can discern mind, firmness and imperious self-confidence. Rokotov's magnificent pictorial mastery is also manifested in the soft modeling of volumes and in how finely, with a wonderful sense of material, velvet, fur and lace are written.
The portrait of I. Orlov, twice repeated by Rokotov, refers to the Petersburg period of his work. It is not dated by the artist, but undoubtedly written not earlier than 1762, when the Orlovs entered into force with the accession of Catherine II. The original of the portrait was engraved by E. P. Chemesov; in the inscription under the image of the engraver led poems A. P. Sumarokov, praising the virtues of the graph. The engraving allows dating Rokotov's portrait to be proud no later than 1765, the year of the death of E. P. Chemesov.

Other paintings by Rokotov

Portrait of Struyskaya
Portrait of Catherine II (1780s)
Portrait of Countess Santi
Portrait of an unknown in a cocked hat
Portrait of V.E. Novosiltseva
Portrait of Peter III
Portrait of Catherine II (1763)

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