June 2, 01:07 PM GMT
180,000 - 250,000 GBP
KONSTANTIN EGOROVICH MAKOVSKY
PORTRAIT OF MARIA ALEXEEVNA MAKOVSKAYA
signed in Latin l.r.
oil on canvas
Canvas: 116.5 by 80.5cm, 45¾ by 31¾in.
Framed: 145.5 by 110cm, 57¼ by 43¼in.
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The family of the artist
Konstantin Makovsky painted an array of women's portraits, not only commissions for the rich and famous but also his own family members. The present work, portraying the artist’s third wife Maria, is a beautiful example of his inimitable style. Combining both the formal and the intimate, displaying grandiose and sentimental stylistic traits, the artist creates a light and romantic atmosphere typical of his salon portraiture.
Makovsky first met Maria Alexeevna Matavtina at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris where he exhibited a selection of paintings. The artist immediately fell in love with the beautiful Maria, his junior by thirty years, and the couple embarked upon an affair which became public knowledge in 1891 after the birth of their first child Konstantin. It took nearly ten years for Makovsky to settle his divorce with his second wife Yulia who would never forgive him for the betrayal. Maria Matavtina and Konstantin Makovsky were finally married in June 1898 by which time the couple had already had three children.
Makovsky painted Maria from the earliest days of their relationship and some of these portraits have been exhibited in Russia and abroad. Maria also modelled for such famous canvases as Romeo and Juliet (1895) now in the collection of the Odessa Fine Arts Museum and Ophelia (1911) which was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2004 (fig.1).