To the proposal of a group of scientists to write the famous physiologist, Nesterov was inclined to refuse, although he had deep respect for Pavlov’s scientific achievements. Having got acquainted with Pavlov’s photographs, he did not find anything in them that could “provoke” him.
But then a personal meeting took place, and Nesterov was shocked by the originality and spontaneity, the violent temperament of this man, who had changed his ninth decade.
Acquaintance with a scientist develops into a close friendship. Nesterov repeatedly visits Pavlov in Koltushi. The artist makes sketches from him, watching him talk, read, work in the garden.
This is how one of the best portraits in Nesterov’s work arises. The scientist is depicted on the terrace of his house in Koltushi. There is irrepressible energy in his profile and hand gesture. A white lace flower on the table brings a lyrical beginning to the portrait. The landscape outside the window – the cottages built for Pavlov’s employees – is seen as if in a misty haze. The colors of the portrait are “Nesterovskoe”, light, silvery, reveal the morning freshness of this vigorous, beautiful old age, the morning of creativity.
Year of painting: 1935.
Painting dimensions: 121 x 83 cm.
Writing technique: oil.
Gallery: State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.