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Monday, 22 July 2013
Russian Museum Exhibits Romanov Portrait for the First Time
Topic: Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD


The Art Gallery of Pskov Museum will host an exhibition featuring one painting beginning July 23.

For the first time, a portrait of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich by the famous Russian artist Konstantin Yegorovich Makovsky (1839-1915) will go on display. The exhibition marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

Konstantin Makovsky was an influential Russian painter, affiliated with the “Peredvizhniki” (Wanderers).  Many of his historical paintings, show an idealized view of Russian life during the tsarist period. Makovsky is considered one of Russia’s greatest portraitists and was the favorite painter of Emperor Alexander II. He painted portraits of various members of the Russian Imperial family including Emperor Alexander II, Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna.

The painting "Portrait of a Grand Duke ..." depicts Vladimir Alexandrovich Romanov (1847-1909), the third son of Emperor Alexander II. Vladimir followed a military career and occupied important military positions during the reigns of the last three Russian Emperors. 

During the reign of his father, he was made Adjutant-General, senator in 1868 and member of the Council of State in 1872. His brother, Alexander III also promoted his career. He was made member of the Council of ministers; Commander of the Imperial Guards Corps and Military Governor of Saint Petersburg.

Interested in artistic and intellectual pursuits; he was appointed President of the Academy of Fine Arts, a position which he held until his death in 1909. He was a patron of many artists and sponsor of the Imperial ballet. 

Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich is the paternal great-grandfather of the current Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.

The portrait comes from the pre-war collection of the Pskov Museum. It was transferred from the collections of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg sometime during the 1920-1930s. In 1944, during the occupation of Pskov, the picture was taken to Riga, which was then under German control. It was returned to the Soviet Union during the process of restitution between 1946-1948.

In 1984, the portrait was moved to the storage facilities of the main building of the museum, however, it was in bad condition and in need of urgent conservation. Between 1985-1986 urgent emergency measures and conservation work was carried out by museum employees, Natalia Tkachev and Michael Vladykin. However, due to lack of funds the restoration of the portrait was not completed until 2011-2013. Today, this portrait is now on public display for the very first time.
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 July, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:10 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 22 July 2013 8:13 AM EDT
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