1863, Moscow - 1930, Detskoe Selo (Leningrad Region)

Spanish Woman on a Balcony


  • tempera on canvas. 141,5 х 88,5
  • Ж-4346

  • Пост. в 1927 из ГМФ, Ленинград

In their quests for an ideal beauty, many early twentieth-century masters turned to exotic Spain – “distant land of sun and handsome people”. One such artist was Alexander Golovin, who visited Spain on several occasions, learnt the language and was well acquainted with the local culture. For many years, impressions of Spain were a constant source of inspiration, contributing to his famous cycle of Spanish Women. Although Spanish Woman on a Balcony is one of the most outstanding works in the series, it was not in fact a Spaniard who posed for Golovin, but an unknown colleague from the design studio of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg – a seamstress or needlewoman. Working from life, the artist undoubtedly retained the original portrait features of his model. Following his own concepts and associations, however, he transforms the image, depicting the exotic inhabitant of a foreign clime. When working on such paintings, Golovin always carefully chose the dress and accessories. He often designed the sitter’s attire himself, modelling it on pieces of fabric in his studio and personally selecting the cut and colour scheme.
Spanish Woman on a Balcony is resolved in the artist’s flat and decorative manner, with brightly expressed elements of Art Nouveau stylistics.

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