Tropinin — a famous artist

Vasily Andreyevich Tropinin (1776-1857)

Visitors to the Tretyakov Art Gallery often stop to admire Vasily Tropinin’s remarkable picture “The Lace-maker”. Holding up her bobbins, a lovely young girl looks out of the frame with all the charm of youth and beauty, showing the graceful movements of her busy hands. This was the first Russian picture to depict the city working girl.

But the most popular picture ever created by Tropinin is probably his portrait of Alexander Pushkin for which the poet sat in 1827. The remarkable likeness was stressed by contemporaries. The portrait reflects the powerful mind and inspiration of the poet.

Tropinin’s pictures are little known abroad. Almost all his works including over three thousand portraits, pictures, studies and sketches, are in museums of this country and private collections.

Tropinin once said that he liked to paint people “at a happy time of their life”.

Tropinin was to Russian art what Jean Greuze was to French art. Like Greuze, Tropinin found pleasure in painting young and attractive faces.


to admire — любоваться

The Lace-maker — “Кружевница” (назв. картины)

bobbin — шпулька, катушка

to depict — рисовать, изображать

to sit for — позировать

likeness was stressed by contemporaries — сходство отмечалось (подчеркивалось) современниками

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