• Portrait of an Unknown Woman

    Artist:
    Anonymous Artist
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    56,5х52 cm

Anonymous Artist

Portrait of an Unknown Woman

Russia, mid-1810s

In 2010 a Portrait of an Unknown Woman came into the State Hermitage’s Laboratory for the Scientific Restoration of Easel Paintings with protective stickers over places where the paint layer was becoming detached. Considering the high artistic standard of the work, it was decided not to perform just a technical restoration, but to make the portrait suitable for display. The complex set of measures carried out served to confirm the exceptional artistic qualities of the work and raised the question of its authorship. However, the lack of information about who had owned the picture before the revolution has prevented even conjecture about whom it depicts. Yulia Plotnikova, as a costume specialist, puts the time of painting as the mid-1810s. There is no doubt that the portrait was made by a non-Russian artist. The work’s distinctive taut, expressive drawing makes it possible to hypothesize that the portrait was executed in the traditions of French art of the “David and Ingres era”. A number of stylistic characteristics permitted an attribution of the work to the well-known French painter Anne-Louis Girodet-Trioson (1767–1824). However, X-ray examination and a study of the preparatory drawing (using infrared light) have not confirmed this hypothesis.

Title:

Portrait of an Unknown Woman

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

56,5х52 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1946; handed over from The State Museum of Ethnography of Peoples of the USSR, Leningrad

Inventory Number:

ЭРЖ-1159

Category: