Kustodiev – “Portrait of A. I. Anisimov”

In 1915, Kustodiev painted a portrait of Alexander Anisimov, later a prominent organizer of the restoration business, the author of studies on pre-Mongol painting and the icon of the Vladimir Mother of God, and at that time – a teacher at the Novgorod teachers’ seminary, passionate about Russian antiquity and icon painting. In the legacy of Kustodiev there are not many portraits that are so acute in terms of psychological characteristics. The artist depicted his model bust, point-blank, close-up, giving the look an exceptional tension, reminiscent of the piercing gaze of saints on Novgorod icons. He revealed the intensity of Anisimov’s inner energy, his will and directness, and supplemented his image with a calm Russian landscape inscribed in the background, which, in contrast, further enhances the assertiveness of the image.

Year of painting: 1915.

Dimensions of the painting: 41.4 x 33 cm.

Material: cardboard.

Writing technique: oil.

Genre: portrait.

Style: realism.

Gallery: State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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