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Later, the work of Petrov-Vodkin was marked by a desire to move away from the desire to find a solution to the universal questions of life, characteristic of the master’s compositional paintings. He turns to the portrait genre, thereby significantly narrowing his artistic task, which is now limited to the desire to convey in the smallest details any face you like. That is why the artist’s canvases differ in very large portrait similarities.
Especially often Petrov-Vodkin painted his wife Maria Fyodorovna and other close people. However, among his works also come across images of famous people. These include the “Portrait of Anna Akhmatova” (1922), which is perhaps the most significant work performed by the artist during his late work.
When an artist paints a portrait of a famous person, he takes a certain risk associated with great responsibility both to himself and to history. In addition, the notorious public opinion may not accept a work if it does not meet some common idea of a particular person. And in the case of Anna Akhmatova, the artist also had to enter into a creative competition with his colleagues, who had once managed to portray the poetess.
Did the artist win this competition?
Of course, after all, he saw in Anna Andreevna not only the Creator, but also the Man - unusually deep, for whom the word of poetry is not a mechanical form of transferring emotions to paper, but the meaning of all being.
The image of Anna is characteristic of the artist of that period - the face of the poetess is taken in close-up. At the same time, its light pink tone contrasts with a bluish background. From this blue comes the face of a virgin, listening to the poetic word of Akhmatova. This can be seen in the influence of the traditions of the past, from which, Petrov-Vodkin, never particularly refused.
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