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The portrait of S. Lebedeva, painted in 1936, the artist dedicated to his first wife, Sarah Dmitrievna Lebedeva (Darmolatova). The picture depicts a pretty woman with a smart face and a friendly look, such as her contemporaries knew. The portrait remained with the artist until his death.
Sarah Dmitrievna is known as an outstanding Soviet sculptor, author of many famous works of monumental art and a member of the Society of Russian sculptors. She owns the sculptural images of Dzerzhinsky, Chkalov, writer A. Twardovsky and many other figures of politics and culture. Her first acquaintance with Vladimir Lebedev took place in the first half of the 1910s, when she studied art at the private school of Mikhail Bernshtein in St. Petersburg. Since then, they have lived together. Apparently, at that time the artist had not yet created portraits of his wife: at least there was no reliable information about the early paintings.
Already in the 1930s. Vladimir and Sarah broke up. As Lebedev himself reported, the desire for art was the reason for divorce: according to him, it is difficult to live one family for two highly talented people. After the dissolution of the marriage, Vladimir Vasilievich was married twice more, but benevolent and very warm relations with Sarah Dmitrievna remained throughout her life.
The artist devoted several portrait works, including little-known ones, to Sarah Lebedeva. Now the famous portrait of 1936 takes its place in the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, in the homeland of Sarah Dmitrievna and her husband.