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This task was typical for the Imperial Academy of Arts in the middle of the 19th century. A model is placed in the center of a studio, so students should use their skills to create a sense of depth and distance. The woman represents a classical image of a Russian rustic beauty. I decided to paint the figure against the light («contre-jour») because it is a challenging as well as an interesting aim. Since the light on the model’s skin is thickly painted and the rest of the body is in the middle tone, shadows turn to be practically translucent. à contre-jour