© 2014 Podorvanov Art Gallery 

MOSCOW, NOVOSLOBODSKAYA STR 20/4

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Artists have always admired and praised beautiful ladies in their masterpieces. Feminine beauty and sensibility remain to be one of the main themes of fine art up to the present day. However, for some people they become a trigger for inappropriate behavior. The word "harassment" has recently entered common use. This term emerged in the 17th century and meant "animal baiting". Nowadays, they are women who are called quarry which men hunt for. Women become the subject of harassment. This world problem cannot but worry Stepanov, the artist, who puts a woman on a pedestal.
The central character of the picture is a woman dressed in a festive attire: dark blue dress and mantilla veil are trimmed with gold edging and decorated with precious stones. Her arms are crossed over her chest in a gesture that is both meek and pleading for protection. The head of the woman is covered with a white veil with gold edging, a golden crown is shining on it. Her pretty face with regular features and no makeup draws attention by its naturalness and anxiety. Her head is tilted, the eyes are lowered. The entire image of the woman speaks of her modesty. She feels her dignity, being a source of innocence and purity.
In the background we can see the Earth's fields, forests and cities, which indicates the reality of the happening. At the bottom of the painting, there is a small figure of a crucified man. This is how people used to be executed in Ancient Rome. Such a death was considered shameful, for everyone's edification. At the top, on either side of the woman, there are winged angels stretching out their hands to her. These are spiritual, disembodied beings with supernatural powers. Their mission is to help people. Here they want to protect the woman, to calm her, so that she does not feel like a trapped quarry any more. 
Stepanov wants to show his attitude to a woman: he extols her as a source of inspiration, as an unattainable object that has the right to inviolability. The artist put his heart into such a convincing image that is why the painting is on a par with the greatest masterpieces of our time.
 

Feminine ideal

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    27/31/4 cm, tempera painting on linden wood, decorated with gold leaf

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