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Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov is a famous Moscow portrait painter of the eighteenth century. Its origin is not clear to the end; apparently he was from a serf family. With the active help of Count I. Shuvalov, young Rokotov was admitted to the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, which he successfully completed. Most of his life he worked in Moscow, creating portraits of many representatives of the city nobility.
The peculiar “rocotian” manner of depiction is well known. About the people this artist wrote, one cannot say that one is kind and cheerful, and the other is sad. The heroes of his portraits are immersed in their inner thoughts and deep personal experiences, which are sometimes almost impossible to guess. The mystery that breathes from each of his paintings, combined with the amazing similarity between people and their images, did not go unnoticed by the contemporaries of the painter, and soon numerous followers began to gather around him.
The portrait of Surovtsev, made in the 1780s, is a vivid example of the late work of Rokotov. It shows a man who is outwardly elegant and restrained, not devoid of secular virtues, but in his face and gaze one can clearly see the internal tension that torments this person for a long time and does not give him rest. Currently, the painting is in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.