1797, Moscow - 1848, Stary Merchik (Orlov-Denisov estate), near Kharkiv

Portrait of Countess Elisabeth-Therese Razumovskaya


This is one of the most poetic of all female images in the Romantic era. Portrayed wearing a house dress, Elisabeth-Therese sits in a simple, comfortable pose. The emphasis on ordinariness is aided by the colour scheme of the portrait. It is painted on a small piece of white paper and only «coated» in grey watercolours and Italian pencil, creating the illusion of the texture and tones of the dress. The artist «moulds» his subject’s face, hair and bonnet in light contrasts of red chalk and pastels.

Countess Elisabeth-Therese Razumovskaya (1790–1818, née Baroness Schenk-von-Kastel): Second wife of G. K. Razumovsky (1759–1837). Russian Museum: From Icons to the Modern Times. Palace Editions, St Petersburg, 2015. P. 123.

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