Nikolai Nikolaevich Ge wrote his famous work in 1867 in Florence. Delivered it to Russia under the guise of a picture depicting the prophet Moses. This was all done secretly, otherwise the gendarmes at the border would have destroyed the portrait, like an image of a rebel. Ge previously covered the portrait with paper on which the prophet was depicted. Thus, the portrait was delivered to Russia.
They met in Florence, where the great artist invited the Russian revolutionary to work on his image for posterity. He painted the best of all his portraits, while Ge felt himself fulfilling a civic and political duty.
Nikolai Ge portrayed Herzen on a dark background, and with clear, bright colors he highlighted the face of a revolutionary. This face is as if illuminated by a ray of light, stands out among pitch darkness. This light game has semantic meaning. He emphasizes the importance of the Herzen figure for the future of Russia, for further prosperity and development. The artist thus wants to say how dear he is as a writer, as a person, as a political figure.
Ge in his work emphasizes a high clever forehead, a crossed fold, hair combed back, lively, slightly sad eyes, full of enthusiasm, energy. A direct, focused, focused look stands out in the portrait; it is as if directed toward the future. The mouth does not hide behind a beard, the same with gray hair, like Herzen's hair.
The artist showed the writer in all spiritual power, with a powerful intellect, a piercing gaze. It was not for nothing that Ge depicted Herzen's costume in the same color as the main background. Thus, he focused all his attention on the face, which emphasizes all the charm, courage, intelligence, spirituality, wealth of the inner world. The image of Herzen reflected his interests, position in society, features of the revolutionary era.
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