In the warm summer of 1873, Russian artist Ivan Kramskoy painted one of his famous works, “Inspecting the Old House,” and lived in a manor house near Yasnaya Polyana (the estate of the Tolstoy family). Therefore, the artist certainly decided to take the time to visit the estate of the famous Russian writer and depict Leo Tolstoy on canvas.
Unfortunately, Count Tolstoy did not want to pose for the artist for a very long time, and indeed did not relate well to portraits. As you know from the letters of Count Tretyakov for a very long time persuaded him to pose for a portrait, but he did not succeed. But the artist I. Kramskoy managed to convince him.
In this famous image of the talented writer Kramskoy very clearly reflected his talent as a psychologist. The dark, nondescript background of the portrait, which did not attract attention, allowed the author to pay all attention to the depicted character of the work.
Kramskoy was very talented at conveying the inner state of Count Tolstoy. His gaze full of attention and cold looks very penetratingly at the viewer. It is this deep look that says, says that we have a terrific analyst who can look into the very depths of the human soul. With one hard look he can penetrate the essence of life.
In his work, the artist tried to maximally demonstrate the integrity of the creative nature of Count Tolstoy, his unstoppable willpower and incredible intelligence. And as we can see, the artist succeeded.
The count is very democratic, this once again emphasizes such a folk character of his appearance. As you know, Leo Tolstoy was very close to the Russian people.
According to many experts, the portrait of the genius of Leo Tolstoy is recognized as one of the best paintings by Kramskoy painted by the artist for his entire long life.
Golden Autumn Picture of Ostroukhov