Description of the picture:
Portrait of the historian Klyuchevsky V.O. – Leonid Osipovich Pasternak. 1909. Paper, pastel (according to other attributes – canvas, tempera, gouache) .111 x 92 cm.
A vivid and expressive picture depicts a famous scientist during a lecture or meeting. He is no longer young and is bleached with gray hair, which contrasts sharply with his long black frock coat. The historian is depicted in profile, tiredly resting with one hand on the pulpit, and the other holding on to the lower back. There are a lot of people in the hall, attentively listening to everything that this famous person says.
The picture is painted in an impressionistic manner, that is, on it you will not see a clear drawing of the details and a detailed image of each little thing. The canvas conveys the general feeling, the spirit of communication, as well as the special attractiveness of the personality of the main character. The strokes and lines in the picture are bold and light, not having clear shapes and borders, but perfectly transmitting the space and volume of the room.
The color scheme of the canvas is rich, quite bright and saturated, but not torn to the foreground, but slightly muffled, “smoky” with a pleasant inclusion of bluish tones that seem to envelop the contours of each detail and figure. This technique not only softens the brightness of local pure colors, but also deepens the shadows, forming a space. The saturated red color of the wall in the background with paintings in massive frames, due to this, does not “break through” to the foreground, but only favorably emphasizes the expressive figure of a scientist in dark robes.
Despite the fact that this is a portrait, there are many other people on the canvas and a large number of various details. The historian’s figure is surrounded by listeners, antique sculptures, paintings on the walls and a large stone vase on the column, next to the table there is some kind of drawing or drawing, on the table there is a figured glass carafe and a glass so that during the lecture you can drink some water. All these details turn an ordinary portrait into a very expressive and memorable genre picture."