The rise and fall of Orestes Kiprensky: For what the author of the best portrait of Pushkin was stoned and who saved him
Orest Kiprensky gladly accepted in the homes of nobles, not only in Russia, but also in France and Italy. His talent was recognized in Europe and nothing seemed to hinder his rise to fame and fortune. However, a tragic accident at one moment destroyed all his hopes and aspirations. Oresta Kiprensky had to prove his importance in his homeland and abroad again, step by step.
Kiprensky’s parents recorded serfs Anna Gavrilova and her husband Adam Schwalbe, but the fact that Orest was the illegitimate son of the landowner Dyakonov could not be hidden. However, Alexei Dyakonov himself gave his son his freedom, he barely reached the age of 6 years.
At the same time, under the patronage of Dyakonov Orest, Kiprensky was identified at the school at the Academy of Arts. Here, children were given basic knowledge in all subjects, taught languages, and also given the opportunity to comprehend the basics of drawing. At the age of 15 years in 1797, Orestes became a student of the Academy of Fine Arts, paying special attention to portrait and historical painting. Mentors Kiprensky steel Ugryumov and Doyen.
The young man already at the beginning of training gained fame as a talented and diligent student, repeatedly received awards from the Academy. The best student of the Academy at the end of the school could claim the so-called pensioner’s trip to Europe to improve their artistic skills. Despite the fact that Orest Kiprensky was one of the best, he did not succeed in winning the trip at the end of the Academy.
The young artist did not despair. The director of the Academy met the talented student and his patron Alexei Stroganov and allowed Kiprensky to study at the Academy further for three more years.
A year later, in 1804, the artist first took part in the exhibition of the Academy with a portrait of his official father Abram Schwalbe. And in 1805 for the participation in the competition for the Academy’s Big Gold Medal, Kiprensky presented the painting “Dmitry Donskoy on the Kulikovo Field”. This time, luck was on his side, and he got the right to a pensioner’s trip to Europe. True, it was postponed due to the Napoleonic wars.
The artist set off on a long-awaited creative trip through Europe only in 1816, having managed to gain the glory of one of the most talented portrait painters in his homeland. The pension trip took place largely due to the patronage of Empress Elizabeth Alekseevna, who appreciated the master’s artistic talent.
The artist first visited Germany, then went to Rome, where he not only studied Italian art, but also continued to write. Portraits and historical paintings of Kiprensky drew the attention of the Florentine Academy and soon the painter received an offer to paint his portrait for the Uffiza Gallery, where self-portraits of the most famous artists were exhibited. It was an unconditional recognition, because Kiprensky was one of the first Russian painters who were awarded this honor.
At about the same time, he painted the portrait Girl in a Poppy Wreath, for which Anna-Maria Falkucci posed for him. In different sources, the story of a little model looks different. In some, the girl is called the daughter of an adult artist’s model, in others they point out that a completely different woman has led the little girl to the artist.
Kiprensky imbued with almost paternal feelings for the little Italian and was seriously concerned about her fate. The tragic events that occurred in the painter’s house abruptly changed the fate of both Orest Adamovich and his little pupil.
One day, the artist’s model was brutally murdered. She shook into the canvas and simply set on fire. Orest Kiprensky considered the woman’s killer to be his servant, who died several days after the murder. However, there were persistent rumors that the artist himself was involved in the model’s death.