The artist is Ge
The compositional decision of the portrait of the writer and public figure Elena Osipovna Likhacheva (1836–1904) is not typical of the portrait work of GE. Likhacheva is depicted in the office, at the table. Surrounded by various objects, her small figure in a black dress seems to be lost. Likhacheva’s eyes are staring at the viewer, they read intelligence and spiritual depth.
Even in his young years, GE came to the conviction that “the artist is obliged to convey the image of dear people of compatriots,” doing this not for himself, but “for society”. He was movable with similar feelings when he wrote a. And. Herzen, n. AND. Nekrasova, m. E. Saltykova-Shchedrin, later-l. N. Tolstoy. Civil aspiration was one of the signs of a mobile portrait.
The image of an advanced woman, a fighter for social progress, established himself in Russian art in the 1880s. For example, at this time, Repin writes and draws n. AT. Stasov, a well -known champion of female education. For the expansion of women’s rights rated and e. O. Likhacheva, speaking in the press, being the chairman of the Society for the Promotion of the Higher Women’s Courses. Ge was quite close to the spouses of the Likhachevs – a lawyer and public figure Vladimir Ivanovich and Elena Osipovna. The extraordinary personality of the latter, obviously, prompted the artist to take up the brush: in the early 1890s, he wrote portraits less often, since his main thoughts were associated with work on philosophical paintings from the life of Christ. The works of the Christian cycle are marked by the severity of the author’s experience and the bold expression of the artistic language. In contrast to this, the portraits of Ge, as a rule, are more traditional. By their typology, they continue the traditions of a mobile portrait.
The idea of the portrait e. O. Likhacheva (1836–1904) is quite simple. A person in the usual environment that corresponds to his lifestyle and activity. Likhacheva sits at the table in front of the open book and watched newspapers. A calm friendly look addressed to the viewer. Face and, above all, eyes, as always at Ge, are written with special attention. Not modeling volumes that distinguished the early portraits of the master, but the imposition of small picturesque strokes gives the face a special liveliness. At the same time, the light spot of newspaper sheets was transmitted generally and delicately, it does not violate the harmony of the composition, maintaining the dominance of a person in it.