PIMEN NIKITICH ORLOV | Portrait of Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin
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Property from a Private Collection, Finland

PIMEN NIKITICH ORLOV | Portrait of Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin

Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Property from a Private Collection, Finland

PIMEN NIKITICH ORLOV | Portrait of Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin

Estimate: 20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Lot Sold:25,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

PIMEN NIKITICH ORLOV

1812-1863

Portrait of Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin


signed in Cyrillic and dated 1836 at the base of the canon wheel

oil on canvas

56 by 46cm, 22 by 18in.

Condition Report

The canvas appears to have been delined at some point and the edges have more recently been strip-lined. There are frame abrasions with minor associated paint loss along the edges. An extensive pattern of tented paint shrinkage and fine craquelure is visible throughout. There is a tiny paint loss to the left of the sitter's lips. Inspection under UV light reveals some very fine scattered inpainting to the craquelure throughout as well as an unevenly discoloured varnish layer. Held in a gold painted wooden frame. 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."

Cataloguing

Provenance

Ekaterina Petrovna Kleinmichel (née Meshcherskaya; 1843-1924)

Thence by descent to her daughter Maria Vladimirovna von Etter (née Kleinmichel; 1872-1950)

Acquired from the von Etter family by the parents of the present owner in the 1960s

Exhibited

St Petersburg, Imperial Academy of Arts, 1836

Literature

Kratkii obzor Vystavki Imperatorskoi Akademii Khudozhestv, 1836, p.7, no.266 listed as Portret g[ospodina] Karamzina

L.Bardovskaya, 'Vnov' obretennye portrety Karamzinykh-Meshcherskikh', Nashe Nasledie, 2017, no.122, p.33 illustrated, sitter incorrectly identified as Alexander Karamzin

Catalogue Note

The first half of the 19th century in Russia was marked by the political turbulence of the Decembrist uprising, the rise of sentimentalism and romantic nationalism, and the rapid development of Russian arts and literature. The Karamzin family played an important role in this cultural and political revival.


Of the six portraits presented for sale, five are of the children of Nikolai Mikhailovich Karamzin – Sofia, Andrei, Alexander, Vladimir and Ekaterina – and the sixth is of Ekaterina’s husband, and Karamzin’s son-in-law, Petr Meshchersky with their son Nikolai. The similar format portraits were executed by two different artists – Jean-Auguste Bard in Italy circa 1835 and Pimen Orlov in Russia between 1836 and 1839 and remained in the collection of the Karamzin family until the middle of the 20th century.


Nikolai Karamzin was a renowned writer and historian who laid the foundation for the future of Russian literature. Alexander Pushkin, a great admirer, was first introduced to Karamzin as an adolescent in 1816. Karamzin’s most famous work, a twelve-volume History of the Russian State, provided the main source for Pushkin’s drama Boris Godunov and had a profound influence on the young poet’s style. In addition to Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lermontov and Vasily Zhukovsky were all close friends with Karamzin’s children and frequently attended the literary salon hosted by Ekaterina Andreevna Karamzina and her step-daughter Sofia. According to the 19th century literary critic Ivan Panaev, ‘To be granted literary fame in high society, it was necessary to be admitted to the salon of Mrs Karamzina – the widow of the historian. That was where diplomas for literary talents were issued.’


The present lot, depicting Nikolai Karamzin’s son Andrei, was painted by Pimen Orlov while he was still a student at the Imperial Academy of Arts and a pupil of the leading 19th century portraitist Karl Briullov. Orlov started work on the portrait in 1936 and exhibited it at the Academy exhibition that year where it was awarded a second rank silver medal.


According to the famous Pushkin scholar Boris Modzalevsky, at the dawn of the Revolution the portraits of Karamzin’s two daughters, Ekaterina and Sofia, belonged to his granddaughter, Ekaterina Kleinmichel, who emigrated to Finland in 1916. These two portraits, along with the other works from the present group, remained with Karamzin’s descendants in Finland until the 1960s, when they were acquired by the parents of the present owner.

Russian Pictures
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