Portrait of Anna Akhmatova
Anna Andreyevna Akhmatova (Gorenko) (1889–1966): Poetess, leading figure of the Silver Age.
This portrait is one of the finest works in Nathan Altman's oeuvre. It was inspired by Anna Akhmatova's poetry, the artist's acquaintance with the poetess in Paris in 1911 and their meetings at the Stray Dog cabaret in St Petersburg. Anna Akhmatova is depicted as many contemporaries remembered her — a melancholy young woman, tall and slim, with a sharp profile and a fringe. Working on the portrait in his studio on the Tuchkov Embankment, Altman rejected a concrete setting. The poetess is depicted against a landscape of shining crystals, symbolising the world of sublime and abstract dreams.