Even those who are not particularly keen on art would undoubtedly recognize this one of the most iconic paintings by Valentin Serov. It's about "Girl with Peaches", written by him in 1887. Vera Mamontova, the daughter of a wealthy patron of the arts, Savva Mamontov, posed for him. We all remember a sweet girl of 11 years old, about whose further tragic fate we did not know.
Let's trace how this picture was written and what happened to Vera.
1. Serov was 22 years old when he worked on this picture. The painting was painted in the spring, when the artist returned from Italy and was visiting Vera's father. It is said that the girl patiently posed for the artist. Serov himself later admitted that he wanted to achieve a certain freshness, therefore "tortured the poor to death."
2. The girl's father was a famous connoisseur of art, so the most famous people of the 19th century visited his estate. Surikov, Turgenev, Repin, Vasnetsov and many others have been there. Note that 11-year-old Vera also posed for other famous artists of that time. For example, Tamara Vrubel is endowed with the features of Vera, and Vasnetsov explained the desire of artists to paint a girl by the fact that she resembled a Russian girl.
3. The painting was gifted by the artist to the girl's mother, Elizabeth, but then she got into the Tretyakov Gallery. After this painting, Serov became a fashionable portraitist at that time.
4. What happened to Vera herself? Growing up, she married Alexander Samarin, the leader of the Moscow nobility.
5. In a happy marriage, Vera gave birth to three children. She died at the age of 32 from severe pneumonia.
6. After the unexpected death of his wife, he never married. And in her honor he built the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity in Averkievo, which was destroyed and turned into a warehouse in Soviet times. In 1920, Vera's husband fell out of favor, like many intellectuals, was exiled to a camp, and died in the Gulag.
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