Fedotov Pawel Andreievich
Portrait of an elegant lady
Oil on canvas
71,5 x 57,5 cм
Pavel Fedotov is the greatest Russian painter and graphic artist. He is known as one of the founders of critical realism in Russian painting. Academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts on "home scenes painting".
The portrait relates to the early creative period of the master, until his retirement from military service in 1844.
The name of the portrait remains unknown. But the most remarkable accessory in the costume of the girl - shawl, can tell a lot about her estate and position in society.
It is known that the fashion for open and highly decorative dresses led to the fact that the ladies had no protection from the cold. The solution was a shawl.
The chalet on the picture is two-sided, so it was woven in Russia, since in the beginning of the 19th century such shawls were produced only in Russia at the manufactory of Nadezhda Merlina (Nizhny Novgorod province). The peculiarity of Merlin’s shawls was that they were assembled from several pieces, stripes with ornament, woven separately.
The factory employed up to 60 peasant women, but the production of shawls was so laborious that it was possible to get about 16 finished products of the highest quality in a year.
Shali was a very expensive accessory. So Prince Ivan Dolgoruky, who visited the landlady, wrote: «Their work is excellent, but not for our money was such a luxury».