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As soon as Levin is in the carriage, he feels like he is coming back to reality. He has doubts as to the propriety of a visit to Anna, but Oblonsky soothes him.
For three months, Anna has been in Moscow awaiting news of a divorce. Although her former social set is also in Moscow, Anna has not received any female callers except for Dolly. Even the exploitative Princess Barbara has found Anna's situation inappropriate and left her household.
Anna spends her time working on a children's book, and she has also taken a whole English family under her wing.
Levin's doubts steadily increase as they reach Anna's house.
Oblonsky and Levin step into a small study, and Levin's attention is immediately arrested by a beautiful full-length portrait. It's the portrait of Anna created by Mikhailov, and Levin stands entranced at the woman's beauty.
Anna enters behind him, and Levin sees at once that she is the woman in the portrait. He decides that the living Anna is less dazzling than the Anna in the portrait, but the fact that she is real makes up for it.