Dmitry Levitsky - Portrait of Ekaterina Khruschova and Ekaterina Khovanskaya
Dmitry Levitsky’s work as a portraitist was very varied. He successfully produced official, formal depictions, allegories, costumed portraits, intimate and genre images. Levitsky’s paintings are an exceptionally full embodiment of “the artist’s delight in the human being”, revealed to the viewer in poeticized natural existence, in the organic merger of physical and spiritual essence. The seven portraits of pupils from the Smolny Institute for the Daughters of the Nobility now in the Russian Museum are among the generally acknowledged masterpieces of European art. One of the early works in the series shows Yekaterina Khrushchova and Princess Yekaterina Khovanskaya performing in a play at the Institute. (Khovanskaya is dressed as a man, Khrushchova as an elegant “shepherdess”).