Alexander Golovin (1863–1930)
Alexander Golovin created a series of portraits of Fyodor Chaliapin, conveying both the famous opera singer’s outer appearance and his stage images. Golovin’s theatrical portraits brightly express the theatrical action, conjuring up the musical phrase sounding on stage at that particular moment in time. Portrait of Fyodor Chaliapin in the Role of Boris Godunov is majestic and monumental; a pageant unfolding against a theatrical curtain. The subject’s sumptuous robe, embroidered with precious stones and golden threads, occupies a large part of the painting without distracting attention from the singer’s expressive face, which rounds off the composition. This tense image of Boris Godunov is psychologically rich and full of drama.