Portrait of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich


The artist is unknown

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For each historical period, their scenery was arranged at the Tauride exhibition. Thus, the pre -Petrine hall was decorated according to the sketches of Ivan Bilibin in the Old Moskovsk style – low wards with arches, on the walls of which old parsuns with images of Russian kings hung in dense trellis hungry.

Parsun is a special, earliest form of portrait painting, a kind of transition from an icon -painting image to a secular portrait. The heyday of Parsuns, which is translated from Latin to “personality”, “face”, falls on the second half of the 17th century, the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich.

The image of the king, created by the unknown West-European master of the second half of the 17th century, located in the first right side, and opens the exposition. Before us is a great example of a classic parsun, written according to the prevailing picturesque scheme. A person’s pose should be frozen. Costume – flat, and face – on the contrary – voluminous. Particular attention should be paid to thorough study of objects, rich patterned fabrics and precious stones. One of the explanations of such rules is that Parsun, in fact, is not a portrait, since it depicts not so much the features of a certain person as the signs of his dignity – the king, boyar and so on. Following the canon, the artist depicts the father of Peter the Great in the ceremonial royal vestment: a heavy dress sewed with precious stones and with a scepter in his hand. He combines archaic techniques of icon writing with the careful introduction of the innovations of chiaroscuro. So in the modeling of the face, to create the impression of volume, the master applies light tones on the dark underplay and writes eyes with glare on the iris and proteins. The image was framed by the signature "Alexei Mikhailovich the Great Sovereign Muscovy autocratically reigned and ruled". A similar revolution (in the past tense) suggests that the portrait was executed after the death of the sovereign.

E.AT.Amphilokhiev, e.AT.Stankevich and N.AND.Fedorova. Materials for a virtual tour of the exhibition "Diaghilev. Start". 2009

Go to the beginning of the virtual tour "Diaghilev. START"

Alexey Mikhailovich (March 19, 1629 – January 29, 1676) – Tsar from the Romanov dynasty, father of Peter I. The son of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich and Evdokia Lukyanovna Streshneva. He entered the throne July 14, 1645, crowned on September 28, 1645. During his reign, the Zemsky Cathedral adopted the “Code” 1649, the customs (1653) and Novogorgovy (1667) charters were adopted, Ukraine reunibly with Russia (1654), which was completed by the Andrusovsky truce with Poland (1667). January 16, 1648 he married Maria Ilyinichny Miloslavskaya (April 1, 1624 – March 3, 1669), had thirteen children. January 22, 1671 entered into a second marriage with Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina (August 22, 1651 – January 25, 1694), from which three children were born: Peter (May 30, 1672; January 28, 1725), Natalia (August 22, 1673 – June 18, 1716), Theodore) (September 4, 1674 – November 28, 1678). Peter I. Time and environment. SPb, 2015. With. 122.

In the book “Historia di Leopoldo Cesare” (“History of Leopold Caesar”, Vienna, 1670), among the illustrations there is this portrait, engraved by Cornelis Mesesens (1646–?), hence his traditional dating. Meanwhile, the inscription on the portrait-“reigned and managed” (in Latin, in the past tense)-suggests that it was performed after the king’s death. Author’s edits and technological features do not contradict dating from the end of the 17th century. Svetlana Moiseeva / Peter I. Time and environment. SPb, 2015. With. 56.

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