Portrait of an unknown in a cocked hat - Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov. 58 x 47 cm.
This painting has long intrigued art critics and simply connoisseurs of painting. It is believed that the portrait depicts a young man, presumably Count Bobrinsky, the son of the Russian Empress Catherine II from an morganatic marriage with her long-time favorite Grigory Orlov. But the young man has a very fresh feminine face, which gave reason to suspect that the picture depicts a young woman dressed in a man’s dress. In those days, masquerade balls with dressing flourished, so this version is not without foundation and credibility.
Unexpectedly, this assumption was confirmed by the results of a high-tech x-ray study. Under the top coat of paint was found an image of a young woman, which was carefully recorded, except for her face. That is, it can be stated with full confidence that the portrait of the unknown in a cocked hat is in fact an image of an unknown lady in a man’s suit. There are suggestions that this is the first wife of N. Struysky.
The color of the picture is very restrained and dark, built on a combination of many shades of brown and black. Thanks to this color scheme, the rosy and fresh face of the character literally shines with life and youth. Despite the monochromatic color scheme, the canvas does not look gloomy - the depicted lady smiles gently, and the smallest details of the clothes and jewelry of the triangular hat are painted with amazing skill.