Museums and Art

Portrait of Count Sumarokov-Elston with a dog, V. A. Serov, 1903

Portrait of Count Sumarokov-Elston with a dog, V. A. Serov, 1903

Portrait of Count F. 89x71.5

Valentin Aleksandrovich Serov (1865-1911) - an outstanding master of portraiture at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Like his teacher, I. Repin, in his portraits he sought to reflect primarily the inner essence of the heroes, thereby rightfully deserving the title of master of psychological portraiture.

Felix Felixovich Sumarokov-Elston, a representative of the famous Yusupov clan, in 1916 will initiate the murder of Grigory Rasputin in their family home on Fontanka. In the meantime, in front of the viewer is a young aristocrat depicted in his native Arkhangelskoye estate near Moscow, where an artist was invited to create a portrait.

A young man with a small dog is painted next to a gypsum dog that stood in the palace. According to contemporaries, the artist was sometimes quite critical of his models, and the hidden comicism of his characters can be traced in the gallery of portraits created by Serov. The count’s face with a delicate porcelain blush, shaded gray jackets, blue eyes and bright lips, thick neatly combed hair - all this makes the young man perceived as secretive, but full of condescending self-confidence and snobbery. This chilly family courtesy creates the image of a refined aristocrat, who is close in the evoked sensation to some heroes of A.N. Tolstoy and I. Bunin.


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