The painting by Konstantin Flavitsky “Princess Tarakanova”, which anyone who has ever visited at least the Tretyakov Gallery, has seen.
Anyone will be amazed at the drama and naturalness of this work, which is based on a real story that happened during the time of Catherine II. They called all the illegitimate children of Elizabeth Petrovna, but the picture depicts not just the daughter of the queen, who was never destined to become the heiress, but an impostor, posing as such! Called Elizabeth of Vladimir, she lived in Italy for a long time, convincing everyone of her kinship with the royal dynasty. But, after a while, Catherine II found out about the fraud, and the impostor was put under arrest in the Peter and Paul Fortress, where she died, and her death was overgrown with legends.
One of the assumptions was that during the Neva flood the girl’s camera was completely flooded. Flavitsky liked this legend because of his drama, and it was he who chose the plot of his famous painting.
In the picture, we see Tarakanova standing on a bed almost gone under the water, onto which rats climb in hopes of escape. She, unlike them, leaned against the wall in complete hopelessness and, closing her eyes and turning her face to the sky, was waiting for her inevitable fate. What is she thinking? Most likely - repents, pity an unexplored life. The basis of the picture is strong contrasts, both in color and in details: a luxurious past in which the “princess” did not deny herself anything, and from whom only a luxurious dress remained, contrasted with the essence of a dull present.
And the girl’s body breathing with beauty and life contrasts with the approaching death and horror that froze on her face. And how picturesquely the author of the picture highlights the princess’s bright robe and her blanket sparkling in the sunlight against a dark and dull color, which makes the picture even more tragic: here it is - an excerpt from a girl’s life torn off due to her own mistake, which is surrounded by death with all sides.
Flavitsky's painting at one time aroused great discontent of the imperial family due to the disclosure of history, which was carefully hidden from the public, and in this form. But, despite this, a masterfully written canvas, in which there is more humanity, expressiveness and truth than something that even remotely casts a shadow on a famous surname, was not destroyed, but is still stored in the Tretyakov Gallery.
Pictures of Lomonosov