The 'Gallery of Bronze Busts of Russian Grand Dukes, Tsars and Emperors', issued by the Chopin foundry, dates back to the 1672 'Directory of Titles', which contained thirty illustrations of Russian rulers, and which was used by the Italian sculptor, A. Penna, for his series of sixty-one royal busts ranging from Roerich to Paul I. Chopin discovered this series in Moscow in 1843 and reissued a bronze version for the 1849 exhibition. In 1866, he advertised a subscription to the series, hoping to produce three busts per month for ten silver roubles per copy between March 1867 and October 1868. The works, whose popularity and affordability/ accessibility was heightened by Chopin's decision to scale the busts down to 30cm, were made from patinated or ormolu bronze.
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