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“Yes, such has been my lot since childhood. Everyone read signs of non-existent evil traits in my features. But since they were expected to be there, they did make their appearance. Because I was reserved, they said I was sly, so I grew reticent. I was keenly aware of good and evil, but instead of being indulged I was insulted and so I became spiteful. I was sulky while other children were merry and talkative, but though I felt superior to them I was considered inferior. So I grew envious. I was ready to love the whole world, but no one understood me, and I learned to hate. My cheerless youth passed in conflict with myself and society, and fearing ridicule I buried my finest feelings deep in my heart, and there they died. I spoke the truth, but nobody believed me, so I began to practice duplicity. Having come to know society and its mainsprings, I became versed in the art of living and saw how others were happy without that proficiency, enjoying for free the favors I had so painfully striven for. It was then that despair was born in my heart—not the despair that is cured with a pistol, but a cold, impotent desperation, concealed under a polite exterior and a good-natured smile. I became a moral cripple; I had lost one half of my soul, for it had shriveled, dried up and died, and I had cut it off and cast it away, while the other half stirred and lived, adapted to serve every comer. No one noticed this, because no one suspected there had been another half. Now, however, you have awakened memories of it in me, and what I have just done is to read its epitaph to you. Many regard all epitaphs as ridiculous, but I do not, particularly when I remember what rests beneath them.” 
― Mikhail LermontovA Hero of Our Time

detailsofpaintings:

Vicente Lopez y Portaña, Doña Gertrudis de Compte y de Bruga (detail)
c.1829-1832
russian-style:

Alexander Afonin - A morning
After the rain. Plyos, Isaac Ilyich Levitan, 1889
Evening. Golden Plyos, Isaac Ilyich Levitan, 1889
The Theotokos of Vladimir, XII century (?), Byzantium, 
The Church of St. Nicholas in Tolmachy, Moscow, Russia
mirroir:

Agnolo di Cosimo (1503–1572), Portrait of a Young Man (detail), c. 1550 (x)
orangexocoatl:

Elizabeth Ann Haryett, by Henriette Jacotte Cappelaere, 1850 (detail)
fleurdulys:

The chains of the Caucasus Mountains - Ivan Aivazovsky
1869
greuze:

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, A Muse (Detail), 18th / 19th Century
slojnotak:

Louis Tocqué - Portrait of Mademoiselle de Coislin (1750-59)

Portrait of Princess Margaret Dolgorukaya (1785-1814), neé Apayschikova, Detail.
by Vladimir Borovikovsky (1757–1825)

Dated: 1811