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Vronsky succeeds in both buying the painting and getting Mikhailov to do Anna's portrait.
Soon it's clear that Mikhailov is amazing at capturing Anna's essence.
Despite this, Golenishchev looks down at Mikhailov for being uneducated. He thinks that Vronsky, due to his education and birth, has potential to be a better artist.
Whenever Mikhailov comes to the palazzo, he's hostile. He never accepts their invitations to stay to dinner, and they always feel uncomfortable around him, although it's clear that he enjoys looking at Anna.
Golenishchev speculates that Mikhailov is simply jealous of Vronsky, an opinion that Vronsky accepts with equanimity, believing that anyone of a lower station in life must envy him. Mikhailov finds Vronsky's paintings irritating and distasteful.
Everyone is happy when they no longer have to associate with one another.
Vronsky never finishes his portrait of Anna. He realizes that if he continues the painting, all its shortcomings will be exposed. He stops painting altogether, and life in the little Italian town suddenly becomes unbearable.
The couple decides to spend the summer on Vronsky's family estate.