Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Portrait of an Unknown Woman


With her "quiet strength and forthright gaze", this unknown woman is the work of the Russian artist Ivan Kramskoi, and is reputed to have inspired Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina character. In fact, I've been spending a lot of time with Anna recently because I've been listening to an audio book of the novel as read by an actress. It's like having someone sitting next to you, telling you the latest gossip and adventures of all the people you know. Sometimes I wake up at night worrying about Anna. And what of Vronsky, her lover? When his beloved mare Frou-Frou breaks her back in a steeplechase event and has to be shot, I know that worse is to come. It makes me cry.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

The book was written before the painting was made.
Thus the painting can't have inspired Tolstoy, but rather more the other way about...

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