Portrait of L.D. Burliuk. 1906
Oil on canvas
From the Collection of the Research Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts
Early works of the artist are distinguished by a bright, colorful palette, and a bold, picturesque brushstroke. A fine example is the portrait of the young painter Lyudmila Burliuk. The artist painted it while visiting Kozyrshchina, where his classmate David Burliuk lived with his parents and sister, Lyudmila. They worked a lot en plein air, and Brodsky simply couldn’t help but get carried away with impressionistic techniques, temporarily leaving an “open” style. The portrait was painted in one of the halls of the master’s house in Kozyrshchina, where David Burliuk’s father was manager. The depth of the halls are depicted between the shrouded chairs. A landscape with a view of the manor was created in the Pointillist manner. Probably, this work shown within the painting was done by Lyudmila, whose landscapes were often compared with the French Impressionist Camille Pissaro. Apparently, Brodsky appreciated her work. The unusual angle of the portrait, the fragmented composition (which shows something happened to the scene while she was painting) are clear evidence that Brodsky was well acquainted with the techniques of Impressionism and successfully used them.