Girl dressed as Flora, Konstantin Makovsky
Girl dressed as Flora – Konstantin Egorovich Makovsky
When Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky was a student, he used to paint portraits to order. The most famous works by this highest-level portrait painter master are the ones belonging to the “female heads” series. A nice example of such works would be the "Girl dressed as Flora ", created in the style, usual for the artist, namely the salon academicism.
The canvas resembles a study, as its background and clothes of the girl depicted on it are not too detailed. This must have been the original intention, since the attire of Flora, who is ancient Roman goddess of spring, is always airy and nearly transparent, just like a haze.
There are delicate flowers seeming to sprout from her image, merging with it – they are not just an adornment. The master applied the ancient motifs trying to equate the beauty of an ordinary girl with the one of a goddess. In this painting, Makovsky, who was inclined towards the romanticism, managed to combine realism and impressionism in a very skillful manner.
Who is pictured?
Makovsky portrayed a beauty of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is a sort of collective image, where both the features of one of his wives and of the beautiful Italian women are traceable. His perception of the female image was greatly influenced by his frequent voyages to Europe, and his working in the local workshops with his European colleagues.
The master’s choice of the angle in the compositional solution was right: the young and sweet face of the girl attracts the attention of the viewers.
The liveliness of colors and contrasts helped the artist to convey the beauty and grace.
His love for a sophisticated entourage prompted Makovsky to decorate the girl image with flowers and petals.
Nothing was missed by Makovsky-the-romantic when exposing the genuine beauty of the soul. The out-of-body and thoughtful look of her brown eyes, together with her gentle curls fondling a graceful neck and falling on a fragile shoulder – all these brought success to the poetry of painting and the image of beauty.
The obscure and blurred background draws the attention of the viewers straight to the girl radiating light. The quiet and delicate colors of clothing and beautiful flowers contrast with the "homely" background of the painting.
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