Two portraits of a noble lady.

Two portraits of a noble lady.

In the hall of the gallery, where the works of famous Russian painter Karl Bryullov, many viewers are delayed at huge ceremonial portrait of a society lady and her little daughter. However, her name is little to explain the visitor gallery. M.A.Bek portrait painted by the artist in 1840. Such spectacular, custom paintings including many works by the master.

In the picture, the full image of a young beauty with fine regular features, beautiful black hair in ringlets laid the fashion of the time. Dressed in sumptuous velvet dress, she poses, holding the hands of well-dressed little girl. It surrounds almost palatial luxury interior: patterned carpet, carved furniture, a fireplace, a vase with a magnificent bouquet, painting in a heavy frame on the wall.

After admiring the beautiful craftsmanship of the famous painter, the visitors held on, and only the most attentive of them may be noted that a small portrait in one of the halls shows the same pattern. The white dress and draped over the shoulders plaid shawl, a straw hat in her hand, she almost coquettishly looks to the web. The picture was painted by a pupil of Briullov, Pimen Orlova. Who is she, this M.A.Bek written almost at the same time, the renowned painter and his less well-known follower?

Maria Arkadevna Beck (1819-1889), nee Stolypin’s second marriage Duchess Vyazemskaya was famous Petersburg beauty era of Pushkin and Lermontov. By the way, she had the last close relative. And not only to him. Due to family and marriage ties Arkadevna Mary has been associated with many wonderful people of his time.

Her maternal grandfather, Nikolai Semenovich Mordvinians, admiral, vice-president of the Admiralty Board, was a member of the Council of State, Knight of the Order of St. Andrew. Contemporaries spoke of him as a prominent statesman and a man of high moral rules. Being a member of his official position of the Supreme Criminal Court of the Decembrists, he only refused to sign their death sentence.

It is noteworthy that NS Mordvinov was a close friend of Andrei Ivanovich Vyazemsky with his grandson who was subsequently linked its fate Maria Arkadevna. Nikolai Semenovich daughter, Vera, in 1813 married Arcadia Alekseevich Stolypin, senator, a close friend of Speransky. His sister, Elizabeth A., married in Arsenyev, was the grandmother of Mikhail Lermontov, who therefore accounted cousin nephew children Stolypin. Especially he was friends with their sons. One of them, Alex, is mentioned in one of the works of the poet nicknamed Mongo. Undoubtedly, close, and Mary knew Lermontov Arkadevna.

In the portraits belonging to the Tretyakov Gallery, she was about twenty years. Three years earlier, she became the wife of Ivan Alexandrovich Beck, who had the rank of a courtier gentleman of the bedchamber, and had served in the Russian missions abroad. Ivan was no stranger to the fine arts: writing poetry, showed a talent for painting and music. AI Turgenev, with whom he became friends, as in Dresden, is in his poetic creations "true talent, and some taste, the same talent guessed". A few of his works were placed in periodicals. These achievements in the literary field coincided with the secular success of his beautiful wife. Almanac "Dawn"Which was published one of the poems A.N.Beka was decorated along with other prints, portrait drawing by Mary Arkadyevna V.Gau.

At the same time with her and were written portraits, first disciple Bryullova and then himself. And this was the case when the pupil has surpassed the teacher not only sincerity and charm with which he has endowed his model, but also the quality of the painting. Although the portrait P.Orlova clearly evident desire to please the high society had ordered it, the artist has managed to keep the spontaneity and naturalness model. Underlining the elegance and beauty of her character, he is not transformed it into a soulless mannequin. Impressive portrait salon does not deprive him of softness and scenic wealth. It was noted that the work Orlova "differed faithful imitation of nature, starting with the person … to the slightest trifle «, as well as great taste and finished. Artists were invited to work in the best St. Petersburg home, customers have always been satisfied with them, "true to his word, conditions and conscientious attitude to his works". Small wonder that in Italy, where he left a pensioner in 1841, it was called "painter of the Graces"That faithfulness to reality could be combined with an elegant and beautiful paintings.

The portrait, painted Bryullov year later, fundamentally different in nature. Renowned painter clearly did not consider it an honor to order. Portrait made with all the brilliance of craftsmanship, but the official grand tone left no room naturalness and even affection artist’s model. Brullov angrily referred to it "Bekshey" and worked on the painting, apparently without any inspiration. Painting itself, with all the virtuosity seems somewhat faded and tortured. His indifference to the heroine Bryullov Portrait of emergency care reimbursed by the toilet and interior parts. Highlighting the beauty society woman, he gave her a lifeless puppet character. However, despite the dryness and formality, the painting was appreciated by his contemporaries as a great wizard and mentions are always laudatory intonations.

Two years after the creation of the portrait Mary Arkadevna widowed. And in 1848 she again married Prince Paul Petrovich Vyazemsky, who was attached to the Russian mission in Holland at the same time I.A.Bekom. The wedding took place in Constantinople and tied the fate of Mary Arkadyevna with his family, has left such a significant mark in Russian literature. The son of the remarkable Russian poet Peter Andreyevich Vyazemsky, Pavel Petrovich was the author of many historical and philological works, he studied the art of the Middle Ages, a collector of antiques and art.

Preserved watercolor, which shows a wedding P.P.Vyazemskogo M.A.Bek. I reported it in a letter to VA Zhukovsky, the groom’s father, Peter A., ​​wrote about his daughter: "It is … beautiful face and soul of the gracious, pious, educated in the family of his grandfather, Earl Mordvinova …"

Probably due to its gracious upbringing Maria Arkadevna could come to terms with the irrepressible and ebullient nature spouse, not always, however, agreeing with his idea. Family Vyazemskys quite a lot of time to spend in the suburban estate Ostafyevo, distinguished visiting famous writers and poets. Jewellery Pavel Petrovich gave him a lot of effort and money. The central oval hall of the house, he painted the ceiling, creating a composition, presenting not only the relatives, friends, and hobbies are numerous amorous prince. Initially, there was a portrait of Mary and most Arkadyevna, but it has not reached us. The figure was recorded at the request of the princess, who did not wish to be placed in so many women’s society.

These are some of the features of the fate of a great lady, was honored by the young artist order and imprinted his famous teacher. And let it not be familiar stranger to curious visitors gallery, when he will come again to admire the works of artists who gave her such a long life in his paintings.

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