Portrait of Peter I - Alexey Petrovich Antropov. 268 x 159 cm
A. Consisting of the Holy Synod, Alexei Petrovich executed orders of the spiritual higher authority for the writing of ceremonial portraits of Russian emperors.
The portrait of Peter I belongs to the later works of the master and is made in accordance with all the canons of this genre. The sovereign is depicted to his full height in the uniform of the Preobrazhensky regiment, in a luxurious ermine-lined mantle, on his chest - the order of St. Andrew the First-Called, established by Peter himself.
The face of Peter I Antropov copied from the famous lifetime portrait of the Russian emperor by the brush of the French artist J. M. Natier. And if the Frenchman depicts Peter I at a young age, in the splendor of military glory, then Antropov reinterprets this image and writes a great statesman with attributes of imperial power.
This is the royal throne to the right of the emperor. On the left on the table, covered with scarlet velvet, are the royal regalia - the crown of the Russian Empire, scepter and power. Since the Holy Synod was the customer of the painting, Peter points to the open book - “Spiritual Regulations”, in accordance with which this supreme church organ was formed. The emperor’s gesture is eloquent and speaks of the need to enforce the law.
In the background on the left, the artist painted a window with a view of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the ship at the pier. This is a reminder of the creation of the sovereign of St. Petersburg and the Russian fleet, which helped turn Russia into an empire. To the right is a column traditional for a ceremonial portrait with heavy draperies, picked up by a gold cord with tassels.
The artist masterfully conveys the play of light and shadow, trying to show the depth of space. Warm red and gold tones give the picture luxury and solemnity. Against this background, the dark figure of the emperor looks impressive and with dignity.
The portrait of Peter I was created in the style of classicism, which is characteristic of the later works of Antropov. Now the picture is in the State Russian Museum.