As far as I know, Kramskoy and Tretyakov were friends who met in 1869. In addition to the paintings bought by Tretyakov for his gallery from Kramskoy, and there were not a few of them (only about 12 were ordered for portraits), they were joined by friendly meetings and correspondence on the themes of political and cultural life.
According to historians, this portrait was written in 1876, at this time Tretyakov was sick. The artist with all the love and respect for his friend, managed to portray him as touching, that when we look at the picture, we are undoubtedly imbued with the equanimity and restraint of the hero.
Kramskoy pays particular attention to drawing details of the face, drawing the right, graceful features, intelligent eyes and clear dark eyes. Looking at the picture, it seems that Tretyakov wants to speak with us. In my opinion, the author wanted to emphasize the importance of the drawn figure for our world. To indicate what contribution was made by Tretyakov in support of the art of our state.
The portrait is depicted mainly in dark tones, there are no bright splashes. The dark background and dark clothes, in my opinion, were not drawn by chance, the face looks tired and somewhat pale. The hero of the portrait is depicted in full seriousness, and reverie. Looking at the portrait, it seems that Tretyakov is looking straight into our eyes. The artist managed to capture the hero as in the photo, to catch every gesture, every hair on the head of Tretyakov. I undoubtedly became a big fan of this artist’s portraits. In her paintings, Kramskoy seems to breathe life, revitalize each of her characters, and if you look at his paintings for a long time, it involuntarily becomes creepy, from the fact that the image comes to life, and in front of you is not a figure from history but a real creator.