About images, we first know two things: the author and, perhaps, the history of a canvas. But about the fate of those who see us from the painting, we don’t know much.
Art19.info decided to talk about women whose faces we know well, but their stories don’t.
Auguste Renoir, “Portrait of Actress Jeanne Samary,” 1877
Actress Jeanne Samary, although she could not be the star of the scene (she played most servants), but she was lucky with something else: for some time she lived not far from the workshop of Renoir, who in 1877-1878 wrote four of her portraits, thus glorifying more than what her acting career can do. Zhanna played in shows at the age of 18, she married at age 25 and gave birth to three children, then even wrote children’s books. But this charming woman lives, unfortunately, not for long: at the age of 33 she suffered from typhoid fever and died.
Leonardo da Vinci, “Lady with a Ermine”, 1489-1490
Cecilia Gallerani is a girl from an Italian noble family who, at the age of 10 (!) Year, was engaged. However, when the girl was 14 years old, the engagement was terminated for unknown reasons, and Cecilia was sent to the monastery, where she met (or all were arranged) with Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza. An affair began, Cecilia became pregnant, and the duke placed the girl in her palace, but then it was time to enter a dynastic marriage with another woman, who, of course, did not like the presence of the mistress in their home. Then after Gallerani’s birth, the duke took her son, and she married her impoverished nation.
In this marriage, Cecilia gave birth to four children, retained almost all the first literary salons in Europe, visited dukes at a party and enjoyed playing with her son from the new mistress. After a while, Chechiliya’s husband died, the war came, she lost his wealth and found shelter in the house of the sister of the Duke’s wife – in extraordinary relationships, so she succeeded with people. After the war, Gallerani returned his land, where he lived until his death at the age of 63.
V.A. Serov, “Portrait of Princess Zinaida Yusupova”, 1902
Russia’s richest heir, the last of the Yusupov family, Princess Zinaida was very handsome, and, even though her grandfather was wanted, among other things, she wanted to marry because of love. She fulfills her wish: a happy marriage and brings two sons. Yusupova spent a lot of time and energy on charity, and after the revolution, she continued in emigration. Her beloved eldest son died in a duel when the daughter was 47 years old, and she barely suffered this loss. With the start of the riots, Yusupov left St. Petersburg and settled in Rome, and after her husband’s death, the princess moved to her son in Paris, where she spent the rest of her days.
V.L. Borovikovsky, “Portrait of MI Lopukhina”, 1797
Borovikovsky wrote many portraits of Russian aristocratic women, but this one was the most charming. Maria Lopukhina, a representative from the family of Prince Tolstoy, was described here at the age of 18. Her husband Stepan Avraamovich Lopukhin commissioned the portrait shortly after the wedding. The ease and appearance of a rather arrogant seem to be the usual pose for pictures of the era of sentimentalism or signs of melancholy and poetic character. The fate of this mysterious girl turned out to be sad: only 6 years after writing the picture, Maria died of consumption.
Giovanina and Amaziliya Pacini
Karl Bryullov, “The Horsewoman,” 1832
Bryullov’s “Horsewoman” is a brilliant formal portrait where everything is luxurious: the brightness of colors, the magnificence of curtains, and the beauty of the model. It describes two girls bearing the family name Pacini: the oldest Jovanina sits on a horse, the younger Amazilya looks at her from the terrace. Picture of Karl Bryullov – her long-time lover – ordered by their adoptive mother, Countess Yulia Pavlovna Samoilova, one of the most beautiful women in Russia and the heir to the colossal state. For girls who are adults, the Countess guarantees a large dowry. But it turns out that at her old age he practically fell, and then the adopted daughter of
Sandro Botticelli, “Birth of Venus,” 1482-1486
The famous Botticelli painting depicts Simonetta Vespucci – the first beauty of Renaissance Florentine. Simonetta’s life can be said to be a reasonably respected and wealthy family when Simonetta moved to the age of 16, and she decided to marry Marco Vespucci (Marco Vespucci was a relative of Amerigo Vespucci, whom we know as the “inventor” of the Americas). After the wedding, newlyweds who settled in Florence were taken to the Lorenzo Medici court, in amazing years with extraordinary parties and receptions.
The beautiful, very simple, and generous Simonetta quickly fell in love with the Florentine man. Ruler Florence Lorenzo himself tried to take care of her, but her brother, Giuliano, was most active in pursuing him. Simonetta’s beauty inspired many artists at that time, including Sandro Botticelli. It is believed that since their meeting, the model of all
V.A. Serov, “Girl with Peaches,” 1887
The most famous painting from the master portrait of Valentin Serov painted on the plantation of a wealthy businessman Savva Ivanovich Mamontov. Every day for two months, the artist poses for her 12-year-old daughter Vera. The girl grew and turned into a charming girl, married with mutual love with Alexander Samarin, who belonged to a famous noble family. After the honeymoon in Italy, the family settled in the city of Bogorodsk, where three children were born one by one. But unexpectedly in December 1907, only 5 years after the marriage, Vera Savvishna died of pneumonia. She is only 32 years old, and her husband has never remarried.