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The painting was painted in 1902. This is a portrait in the Art Nouveau genre, its dimensions are 48 cm x 39 cm. The canvas and oil served as materials for writing. Currently, the work is in the St. Petersburg State Russian Museum.
Lev Samoilovich Bakst was remembered by the world, first of all, as a theater designer. The scenery and costumes that came out from under his hands delighted not only our compatriots, but also the audience of France. As for the portraits, mostly Bakst painted acquaintances, friends, relatives. The picture “Dinner” depicts Anna Karlovna Kind, wife of A.N. Benois. Among her friends, she wore a short nickname - Atya.
The visual side of the work is extremely concise: few colors and details, clear lines, black and white basic tones and just a few bright color accents in orange-red tones. Such restraint corresponds to the fashion and tastes of that time, because at the beginning of the 20th century, advertising and book graphics began to gain popularity.
An interesting story is the creation of this portrait. Once, while in Paris, two artists Bakst and Serov dropped into a cafe. There they noticed a woman whose image Bakst immediately imprinted on a napkin. As it turned out, she was also Russian, and her husband was the founder of the World of Art. Later, Bakst, of course, transferred a napkin sketch to the canvas.
What is characteristic, the artist does not pay much attention to the face of the girl, leaving him as if unfinished. It cannot be said whether he does it consciously or simply did not remember it to the end, but it plays into his hands: the image acquires mystery.
Despite the simplicity of the plot, the canvas attracted the attention of critics and was remembered by art lovers precisely thanks to the writing technique.
The play of color and light, the dynamism of the lines, their flowing into each other, the harmonious entry of the dark silhouette of a female figure into the surroundings - all this makes you hold your eyes on the picture.
Delacroix Freedom Leading People