Anna Vyrubova Watercolour Donated
to the Alexander Palace
The watercolour of a romantic Finnish landscape, dedicated to Tsarina Alexandra, was hand painted by Vyrubova (right) in 1957
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Source: Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело. Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 27 seconds.
Anna Vyrubova, née Taneyeva (1884–1964), was the Tsarina’s best friend and confidante. She suffered several imprisonments in 1917, and narrowly avoided execution by the Bolsheviks before she finally escaped to Finland in 1920 where she became a nun and lived until her death.
The nameless, 21.6 х27.9 cm watercolour of a romantic Finnish landscape, dedicated to Tsarina Alexandra, was hand painted by Vyrubova in 1957 for her friend Fru Gabriella Gadilius in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1957, Fru Gadilius presented it to Samuel E. Belk III, who served as a U.S. Army infantry captain during World War II and then as a CIA expert on Soviet external policy toward the Middle East and Africa and a senior officer in the State Department. After Mr Belk’s death in 2007, the watercolour was put up for sale as a ‘not-so-valuable’ item, which Amy Ballard was lucky to acquire.
Olga Vladislavovna Taratynova, the Director of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve with Ms Amy Ballard.
The handover turned into a celebration in the royal grandeur of the Suite of State Rooms at the Alexander Palace which now gratefully embraces every single bit of its historical revival. Besides the watercolour, Amy Ballard also presented the last historical book by Ronald C. Moe, a renowned American political scientist, whose widow personally asked Ms Ballard to pass the book to the museum library.
The donated piece will grace the Tsarskoye Selo collection of watercolours which already counts several works by the persons that served at the court of Emperor Nicholas II, including physician Vladimir Derevenko who treated Nicholas’s son, Tsarevich Alexei.
Source & Copyright: Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело.