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Dmitry Grigoryevich Levitsky-School "Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich", oil on canvas, 1787/90
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 5000 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
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This painting was offered at the sale of auction house "Mallams", Oxford (England) on the 8th of March 2013 as a "portrait of a young boy wearing peach coloured chemise, buttoned grey overcoat and blue sash, a medaillon around his neck". When acknowledging its authorship, the auction house expert offered a rather vague remark: "18th century Continental School" (see our image nr.8).
Having seen this painting in the (preceding the sale) online catalogue, we immediately realized that it is a slightly altered copy after the famous 1787 painting made by (then best) Russian portraitist Dimitry Grigoryevich Levitsky, and that it was produced in the same period (i.e. executed in the late-18th-century by a Russian artist). The (original) painting of Levitsky is today on display in the Moscow Tretyakov Gallery: it is a portrait of 10-year-old Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, future Emperor Alexander I of Russia (see our image nr.9).
As the matter of fact, the blue sash and "neck medaillon" are none other than the sash of the Russian Imperial Order of St. Apostle Andrew the First-Called (highest award in the Russian Empire; Russian grand dukes obtained this order at birth) and neck cross of the Russian Imperial Order of St. Anna of the 1st Class (and not the Order of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky as (erroneously) described in the catalogue of Tretyakov Gallery).
At the same time that he produced the "Tretyakov Gallery" portrait Levitsky painted its (identically sized) counterpiece, namely the portrait of Alexander Pavlovich' younger brother, Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich. Although the whereabouts of this second portrait are unknown, there is clear evidence of its previous existence: St. Petersburg court engraver G. I. Skorodumov engraved (in the same 1787!) both portraits. Skorodumov, however, based his engravings not on original portraits of Levitsky, but on their (produced shortly after by hand) copies by one of the Russian artists of the same period (see images nr.10-11).
The two copies used by Skorodumov were not unique: now and then copies after portraits of both brothers similar to our slightly altered one resurface at the current art auction market (see our images nr.12-13).
In other words, we are dealing here with one of the above mentioned copies painted by one of Levitsky's pupils or by one of Russian portraitists of the late 18th century influenced by Levitsky.
For extensive biographies of D.G. Levitsky and Alexander I CLICK HERE and HERE.
Condition: good; lined in the 19th century
Creation Year: 1787/90
Measurements: UNFRAMED:74,0x63,0cm/29,1x24,8in FRAMED: 90,0x78,2cm/35,4x30,8in
Object Type: Framed oil painting
Style: Old Master paintings
Technique: oil on canvas (painted in oval)
Creator: Russian School
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: -
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