“Oh, Somov-Sorcerer!”: Visual Contours of the Portrait of Vjačeslav Ivanov in the Latvian Novel of 1926
Copyright (c) 2022 Ludmila Sproge
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Konstantin Somov is one of the characters in Victor Eglitis’s novel Inevitable Fates. The Latvian writer and artist was familiar with members of the “World of Art” and created an ekphrasis in his novel of the famous portrait of the poet Vjačeslav Ivanov, and also described his impressions of the famous Tower from meetings with A. Remizov, L. Zinov’eva-Annibal, N. Berdjaev, and Z. Serebrjakova. The gallery of portraits, landscapes and interiors creates visual effects in the novel; these are reflected in the description of the characters, who are contemporaries of Victor Eglitis. The characters of the novel are presented according to their images in photographs and artists’ portraits. The portrait, painted by Konstantin Somov, is a visual image of the novel’s hero, a philosopher, poet and scientist, and the owner of a modernist salon in St. Petersburg.