Property from a Private Collection, New York
VLADIMIR IVANOVICH HAU | PORTRAIT OF GRAND DUKE NIKOLAI ALEXANDROVICH
Estimate: 8,000 - 12,000 GBP
VLADIMIR IVANOVICH HAU
PORTRAIT OF GRAND DUKE NIKOLAI ALEXANDROVICH
bearing a later signature A.Brulloff l.r.
watercolour heightened with white over pencil on paper
27 by 21.5cm, 10¾ by 8½in.
The sheet has discoloured in line with age, unevenly along the edges. Remnants of adhesive tape are visible along the edges on the reverse. There are pinholes in places: one to the middle top edge and two along the bottom edge. There is a light layer of surface dirt with handling marks and spots of dirt in places. Incipient foxing is visible in places. Held in a black painted wooden frame behind glass. Unexamined out of frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
The present lot relates to an album commissioned by Nicholas I in 1846 following the celebrations marking his 50th anniversary as commander of the Horse Guards Regiment, which contains portraits by Vladimir Hau as well as genre scenes by Karl Piratsky. Executed between 1846 and 1851, the Imperial copy is now in the Pushkin House in St Petersburg. Copies of the album were presented to the most distinguished members of the regiment, and there are also single copies of portraits from the album made by Hau himself as well as by other artists.
The album includes portraits of the Emperor’s sons Konstantin and Alexander, as well as of his grandson Nikolai Alexandrovich. In its execution, the present work strongly resembles the portrait of Nikolai Alexandrovich in the Pushkin House copy (fig.1) and is of identical size, which allows us to confidently attribute it to Hau. The different positioning of the sitter in the two portraits means this is a variation by the artist rather than a copy by another hand. It was likely part of a now lost edition of the Horse Guards album. Hau left the majority of his portraits unsigned, the erroneous signature A.Brullof was added at a later date.