The Russian literary critic and famous playwright, as well as the publisher of the Khudozhestvennaya Gazeta periodical, Nestor Vasilyevich Kukolnik, is depicted by Karl Bryullov in a chamber belt portrait the year he arrived from Italy to his homeland, where he studied mastery. Therefore, the Italian school of painting is very noticeable, the manner of writing the picture.
Mikhail Glinka introduced the artist and writer, after which they became close friends, the portrait painted by Bryullov reflected his warm attitude to the portrait. The background of the picture is the modest exterior interior of the Kukolnik house, where so often a literary circle of creative people gathered. However, you can immediately notice that the background is not given special importance, it is made in dark, but at the same time, warm colors. The dark horizon is sharply divided by sky and sea - symbols of the era of romanticism.
A modest but contradictory personality is reflected by Karl Bryullov in the portrait. His sly squint gives a hint of seriousness and concentration. Being a creative person, the writer Kukolnik grabbed the lyrics in the air, because of that, his gaze may seem somewhat skeptical, strict.
At the same time, we see a hero - a romance, his dreamy gaze is directed somewhere in his own thoughts, he looks portrayed as if through a spectator. Puppeteer’s static pose, some constraint of the composition are “unloaded” with soft light coming from the center of the picture. The glare of this warm lighting puts emphasis on the hands, face. Puppeteer’s hands confidently squeeze the cane and cylinder.
Some "positive" posturing can be seen in this ambiguous image of the writer. The puppeteer is forced to put on a mask of a rejected romantic, misunderstood by the big world of art, a look from underneath as if cunning, invites him to the wonderful world of the sidelines of art workshops. The image of the artist’s closest friend, thought out to the smallest detail, reflects a warm and reverent attitude towards the portrait.
Botticelli Birth of Venus