Painting by Kiprensky “Portrait of Kochubei”

Natalia V. Kochubei. This name is familiar to all lovers of A. Pushkin’s poetry. For many years, Natalia Viktorovna was the poet’s muse, inspired him to create the famous “Bakhchisarai Fountain”.

In “Poltava”, “Caucasian prisoner” you can find lines inspired by the image of Natalia. Tatyana Larina also owes some features of her character to N. Kochubey: She was unhurried, not cold, not talkative, without a look of arrogance for all, without claims of success, without these little exasperations, without imitative fads.

Everything was quiet, just there. About how this girl looked, we can judge by getting acquainted with the portrait created by the brush of one of the most famous portraitists of the nineteenth century Orest Kiprensky. The portrait was written in 1813.

Then the young Natalia Kochubei turned 12 years old. But the features that so impressed Alexander Sergeevich were already clear. A beautiful young face with

clear, light eyes, a tall, clean forehead, smoothly combed dark hair. She is beautiful and pure.

In the guise of a teenage girl, there already is that majesty and calm grace that allowed her to become a “legislator of the hall” in the future. In the portrait Natalia Kochubei is dressed in a homemade dress, not tied ribbons which open a beautiful neck. The girl is sitting half a turn to the viewer. She is dissatisfied with something. Lips are angrily compressed, anger flashes in his eyes. It seems that she turned to the words of someone who stands or sits on the side. The man’s anger is directed at this man. But an angry expression does not spoil the girl.

Like any teenager, Natalia is not easy to keep immobility, posing for the artist. And she does not even pose. The portrait is made in Italian pencil and watercolor.

As if Kiprensky, while on a visit, made quick sketches. Maybe that’s why the girl turned out so lively, so mobile. Even folded hands on the knees indicate that the girl, perhaps in anger, pulls an impatient handkerchief. This was seen by Natalia Kochubei Kiprensky.

This was seen by Alexander Pushkin. They met in Tsarskoe Selo, where Kochubei’s family lived at that time, and the poet studied at the Lyceum. Love for Pushkin was unrequited. Natalia Kochubey rejected the poet. She became the wife of Count Stroganov.

But for many years Pushkin drew inspiration from this beautiful image – Natalia Viktorovna Kochubei-Stroganova.

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Painting by Kiprensky “Portrait of Kochubei”