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Vladimir Lukich Borovikovsky was born in a noble but not rich family. At the time of the birth of Vladimir, the Borovikovskys owned only a house in Mirgorod and a couple of land plots. The father and brothers of the future artist were engaged in icon painting, and Vladimir was going to choose the same type of painting for his work. The first creations of the young artist are precisely the icons.
The early portraits of Borovikovsky were rather unprofessional. In 1787, Catherine II came to Crimea, where the author was living at that time. She draws attention to the work of Vladimir Lukich and insists on his move to St. Petersburg. It was assumed that the talented painter would go to the Academy of Arts, but for the thirty-year-old creator, such a move was somewhat belated. In St. Petersburg, Borovikovsky completely switches to portraiture, but religious motifs constantly slip in his work.
The only known self-portrait of the artist is the painting Christ, blessing a kneeling man - and this is again a plot on the theme of the New Testament. Borovikovsky portrayed himself in the form of a person blessed by Jesus, dressed in a dark silk robe. The gracious expression on the face of the kneeling person perfectly conveys the feelings of the man on whom grace has descended. Clasped hands on the chest, the hero looks peaceful and full of humility. Jesus in this picture is a tall man with curly blond hair, Eastern European, Slavic type. On it is typical Roman clothing, made in bright scarlet and azure tones.
The tunic is richly decorated with gold. However, Christ is barefoot, and on his feet are visible traces of nails left after the crucifixion. The plot of the picture and performance are characteristic of the late work of Vladimir Lukich. In the last years of his life, the artist became interested in religious mysticism and returned to where he began, devoting himself entirely to Orthodox painting.