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Portrait of E.N. Khovanskaya is one of the exhibits of a series of paintings dedicated to the depiction of the life of noble girls from the Smolny Institute. This educational institution united the best girls of St. Petersburg and Russia under their vaults. The canvases are known under the name of Smolyanka. All the masterpieces were written personally by the will of Empress Catherine the Second.
The portrait also gained fame as "The vagaries of love, or Ninnet at court." This name arose for a reason. Indeed, on the canvas are reflected two pretty young girls who started a practically theatrical game. Ekaterina Khrushcheva posed in the image of a handsome young man who shows attention to the lady of the heart. The fragile Ekaterina Khovanskaya looks at the “gentleman” with timid tenderness. Their poses are somewhat pompous and unnatural, but this gives the picture a special chic and charm.
The canvas is made very carefully, with detailing even small elements of girls' clothes. Each fold is traced on the Khovanskaya dress, each hall in Khrushchev's frock coat. The image is made in calm colors. The picture gives a feeling of peace and quiet joy. The girls smile at each other warmly and sincerely. The shyness, innocence and grace of young ladies are fascinating.
In the future, both noble women will brilliantly finish their studies and successfully marry. Ekaterina Khrushcheva will receive a special mark of her knowledge from the ruler of Sweden, Gustav the Third - he will give her jewelry. Ekaterina Khovanskaya will finish her studies with personal thanks to Empress Catherine the Second.
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