Portrait of Yevdokia Glebova

Artist: Pavel Filonov
Date: 1915
Media: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 97.5 x 77.5 cm
Ownership: Russian Museum, St Petersburg
Property of the artist’s sister, Yevdokia Glebova, Leningrad (until 1977)
Style: Realism
Portrait of Yevdokia Glebova


This portrait differs greatly from Pavel Filonov’s other works of the mid-1910s. The artist unexpectedly betrays his interest in classical art and long hours spent in the Hermitage, contemplating and studying works of North Renaissance painting.

Filonov admired the North Renaissance masters for the simplicity with which they portrayed their heroes. He noticed that scrupulously painted details of an everyday setting evoked a special feeling of authenticity in the canonic image of a saint.

Yevdokia Glebova was especially close to her brother Pavel, who highly rated her talent for music and always listened to her opinions. More conservative than him in her artistic tastes, she possibly influenced his choice of technique in this portrait.

The painting lacks Filonov’s usual free approach to life, frightening encoded images and polyphonic means of expression. The artist claimed that he could work in any style – the main thing was to find the correct plastic equivalent of the image.

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