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Alois Gustav Rockstuhl-Attrib. "Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich in Armour and Helmet", 1842/45
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 2000 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
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A fascinating festivity took place at the Russian Royal summer residence Tsarskoe Selo in the summer of 1842.
On the occasion of 25th matrimonial anniversary of Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich (by then - Tsar Nikolai I of Russia) and Prussian Princess Friederike-Louise-Charlotte-Wilhelmine (by then - Tsarina Alexandra of Russia) a costume event - the so-called "Tsarskoselskaya Carussel (carousel)" (equestrian roundabout) - took place. Dating back to the XVII century, this kind of celebration was an essential attribute of court life in most European countries.
In Russia, these "carussels" were introduced during the reign of Empress Elisabeth Petrovna (Elisabeth I). A carussel arranged by the Winter Palace in 1766 during Catherine the Great's reign received wide publicity across the whole of Europe.
Particularly interesting was the 1842 carussel in Tsarskoe Selo due to all tournament participants' dressed in Middle Ages armour from emperor's private collection. Nikolai Pavlovich and his son, future emperor Alexander II (sic!), were gracefuly seated on beautiful horses, wearing armour from the time of Maximilian, Kaiser (emperor) of the Holy Roman Empire. The empress and her two daughters wore exquisite custom-tailored "medieaval dresses".
One year later, in 1843, this cavalcade was captured in the work of famous French horse painter Horace Vernet, who was working in St. Petersburg at the time (see our image nr.10).
In our watercolor portrait, the Tsar Nikolai I's eldest son, Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich of Russia, is depicted in the aforementioned armour and helmet, which provides the approximate date of making - 1842-1845.
This miniature is probably a preparatory study for the miniature by St Petersburg court miniaturist Alois Gustav Rockstuhl in Moscow State Historical Museum ( (see our image nr.16).
Alois Gustav (in Russia - Aloisi Petrovich) Rockstuhl was born in 1798 in Goldingen by Vilnius (Lithuania) as son of the well known Miniaturist Peter Ernst Rockstuhl (1764-1824 St.Petersburg).
He studied from 1832 at the St.Petersburger Imperial Academy of Fine Arts and in 1835 was raised by the Academy to the rank of 'non-class artist' "for recognized success in oil and miniature painting". In 1840 to "academician", becoming then a professor of the Academy (see signature on our miniature!). 1842 he was called to the "Cabinet of Her Majesty" and received the rank of "Painter of Her Imperial Majesty". He was also appointed Director of the Museum of Tsarskoselski Arsenal in Mon Bijou. Rockstuhl's work consisted exclusively of painting miniatures for the royalties, Russian and foreign.
Provenance: Christie's London, December 6th 2005, Lot 178 (erroneously as Tsar Nikolai I; see our image nr.8).
Our acknowledgements to the well-known specialist of Russian portraits, Dr. Sergei Podstanitsky (Moscow), who recognized the Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich in the sitter.
Condition: good; in original frame
Creation Year: 1842/45
Measurements: UNFRAMED:10,1x8,4cm/4,0x3,3in FRAMED: 17,0x14,2cm/6,7x5,6in
Object Type: Portrait Miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: brown wash with white heightening on card
Inscription: indistincly signed (see image nr.5)
Creator: Alois Gustav (Aloisi Petrovich) Rockstuhl
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1798 Goldingen-1877 St. Petersburg
Nationality: German / Russian
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