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Alexander Molinari (1772-1831) "Portrait of A. D. Shokhin", high quality Russian miniature!!,1806/08
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 6500 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
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On view here is a very good quality miniature portrait of a young gentleman dressed and hair-styled according to fashion of ca. 1804-1808.
The old label on verso of the miniature presents a hand-written Cyrillic (!) inscription with the name of the sitter - Alexander Dmitrievich Shokhin. Unfortunately, without access to proper Russian archives and restricted to the sole use of Google and Yandex, we could not find any information about this particular person. Nonetheless, the Web did provide extensive information about three (brothers) Shokhins, all sharing identical patronymic of Alexander (i.e. Alexandrovich) in their full names, all three - well-known Russian architects and citizens of Moscow in the 1st half of the 19th century. They were:
- Dmitri Alexandrovich Shokhin (born in the late 1800s; as the first-born son (he was the eldest of all three brothers) he was named after his grandfather Dmitri (see our image nr.9).
- Fedor Alexandrovich Shokhin (ca. 1812 - ?; see our image nr.10) and
- Nikolai Alexandrovich Shokhin (1819-1895; the most known of three brothers; see our image nr.11).
The conclusion is thus forced upon us: "our" Alexander Dmitrievich Shokhin was with almost 100% likelihood the father of three architects. He too lived in Moscow or in its close vicinity.
From these facts emerges also the following: the author of this portrait must have been an artist working in Moscow in the aforementioned period.
The high quality and (especially!) stylistic criteria of this miniature suggest (in our opinion as only candidate!) Alexander Molinari - Italian-born artist from Berlin, who came to work in Russia in 1806 (see our comparison images nr.12-29). As we learn from the interesting article by E. Yu. Ivanova dedicated to this artist (see our image nr.30 for clips from it), Molinari's name was included in the list of foreign artists working in St. Petersburg in 1807 (we, however, suppose that this list was based on the information from 1806; indeed, Molinari came to Russian capital in 1806, and the list compiler assumed that he was still in that city in 1807). Nevertheless, already on September 25th 1806, S. P. Zhikharev made a note in his journal bearing record of Molinari's presence (possibly long before this date) in Moscow.
The truth is that still in 1806, Count D. P. Buturlin offered Molinari the post of a miniature-painting teacher for his mother, who was living in his estate Belkino, approximately 100 km from Moscow (now - in Borovski district of Kaluzhskaya gubernia). Molinari remained at this estate until 1812 but regularly visited Moscow - a city where his country-fellows and wealthy clientele lived at the time…
Alexander Molinari (or Molinary) was born in 1772 in Berlin and died in 1831 in Dresden. He studied at the Berlin Academy, participating (as a student) at the Berlin Academic Exhibition of 1787 at the age of 15. He then spent some time in Italy (predominantly in Rome). In 1795 he arrived to Vienna, yet was soon extradited by the Austrian police for being "an alien with no means of subsistence" (his second incident with the Austrian police took place in 1797, when he travelled to Teplic (now Cieplic, Czech Republic) for health treatment). In 1796-1797 the artist worked in Glogau, Silesia, in 1800-1806 in Weimar and in 1806-1816 (sic!) - in Russia. Until 1812 Molinari lived (as an art teacher) at Count Buturlin's estate Belkino (he taught the countess to paint portrait miniatures). After 1812 he settled in St. Petersburg, where he opened a pastry shop on Nevsky Prospect (boulevard) in the same year.
During his "Russian" period the artist mainly painted oil and watercolour portraits and miniatures on ivory. He made several portraits of Tsar Alexander I and many portraits of high aristocracy. In 1817 he went to Poland and lived in Warsaw (there he worked exclusively as portraitist) until 1822; then moved to Dresden where he remained one year. In 1823-26 he lived in Berlin, then again in Dresden. In 1829-30 he was back in Warsaw, and then moved to Dresden where he died on 20 January 1831.
Works of Alexander Molinari belong today to world's most esteemed museum collections: the National Museums of Warsaw and Krakow, Moscow Historical Museum, Moscow Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Kremlin Museum, Russian Museum of St. Petersburg, Museum "Albertina" in Vienna, etc., etc.
Provenance: antique store, Grenoble / France
Creation Year: 1806/08
Measurements: UNFRAMED:6,4x5,1cm/2,5x2,0in FRAMED: 6,9x5,5cm/2,7x2,2in
Object Type: Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription: verso: old label with Cyrillic inscription
Creator: Alexander Molinari
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1772 Berlin-1831 Dresden
Nationality: German / Russian / Polish
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