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# 43652

Nathaniel Plimer (1757-1822) "Portrait of Prince Mihal Kazimierz Oginski", important miniature, 1786

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Made in 1786 in England (in fact, its author never left this country!), it is a superior quality miniature on ivory painted by well-known London artist Nathaniel Plimer. It is a portrait of a middle-aged (he appears to be 45/55 years of age) Polish aristocrat (he bears two of the highest Polish awards: the neck cross of the Order of St. Stanislaus and the blue sash and breast star of the Order of White Eagle).
A thorough search through collections of portraits of Polish aristocrats of the 18th century (CLICK HERE) returned the following result: there was only one man whose physiognomic characteristics and age in 1786 matched the appearance of "our" sitter 100% (see our comparison images nr.8-11), and who happened to have been in 1786 in possession of both aforementioned awards (White Eagle in 1755 and St.Stanislaus in 1765).
Moreover, in 1786 he spent several months in London (see our images nr.14-16).
His name - Michal Kazimierz Oginski.


Prince Michal Kazimierz Oginski (ca. 1730 Warsaw - 1800 Slonim or Warsaw) was a polish nobleman, a political office holder and a military commander of Grand Duchy of Lithuania (then part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth), as well as a noted musician and composer.
He began his political career at the age of 18, when he became the Field Writer of Lithuania, a mid-level position in the administration of the State. In 1764 he became one of Russia's candidates for the Polish-Lithuanian throne. When Stanislaw August Poniatowski was chosen instead, he was made Palatine of Vilnius, He later joined the anti-Russian Bar Confederation. Defeated by the Russian forces under Alexander Suvorov in the Battle of Stolowicze, he was forced into exile. However, in 1768 he was allowed to return and was nominated to the rank of the Grand Hetman of Lithuania, thus becoming one of two highest ranking military commanders in the Polish-Lithuanian state. During the Great Sejm of 1788-1791, Oginski was a member of the Patriotic Party. However, following the defeat of his fraction in the Polish-Russian war of 1792, he resigned his post and retired to his family manor in Slonim.
Apart from his political and military career, he was a noted engineer and musician. He helped to establish the Pinsk-Volhynia road, the arsenal in Vilnius, and the Oginski Canal, which joined the watersheds of the Neman and Dnepr rivers (1765-1784). He also founded numerous factories and foundries in the lands belonging to his family. He was also a noted musician and composer, as well as a benefactor of artists. At his court in Slonim he held two theater groups (Italian and Polish), a printing house and orchestra. He also modified the design of the harp and wrote several musical compositions. He was among two Polish scholars (alongside Jan Szczepan Kurdwanowski) who contributed to the French Encyclopedie. He was a cousin of Andrzej Ignacy, the father of composer Michal Kleofas Oginski, and it is possible, that many of the polonaises composed by him can be attributed to Michal Kazimierz, including the famous "Farewell to My Himeland".

Nathaniel Plimer (1757 Wellington - 1822 London) was a son of a clock-maker and elder brother of (more famous) miniaturist Andrew Plimer. As a young man, he and his brother left home and joined some gypsies, with whom they wandered about the country for over two years during which time they adapted themselves to the life, made their own brushes and assisted in decorating the caravans. In 1781 arriving in London, Nathaniel obtained a position as a servant to Henry Bone, the enameler. After a short time, he left and joined his brother as a pupil of Cosway. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1787-1815 and at the Society of Artists in 1790-91. Little is known about him except that he believed to have remained in London all his life. As in case of Andrew Plimer, only his works painted before 1789 (sic!) are signed and dated "N.P." in small Roman capitals.
Works of Nathaniel Plimer can be seen in Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Cleveland Museum of Art, etc.

Our images nr.17-19 show several other works of this artist that were offered at the international art auction market.

Provenance: English private collection

mijun30ap16

Condition: good

Creation Year: 1786

Measurements: UNFRAMED:4,3x3,5cm/1,7x1,4in FRAMED: 5,0x4,2cm/2,0x1,7in

Object Type: Framed miniature

Style: Portrait Miniatures

Technique: watercolor on ivory

Inscription: monogrammed and dated: N.P. /1786

Creator: Nathaniel Plimer
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!

Creator Dates: 1822 London-1757 Wellington

Nationality: English / British

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