A portrait miniature of Count Hermann Carl Graf von Keyserling, probably German, circa 1750-1760
painted on ivory, set in a 19th century gilt metal frame, based on the painting by Michael Christoph Hagelgans in the Kunstkammer, St Petersburg
width 8.5cm, 3⅜in.
This miniature is in generally good condition. There are two small areas of pigment loss, one at the bottom right corner and another located at the upper-right side in the background. The burgundy leather case has extensive wear and damage.
"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."
Count Hermann Karl von Keyserling (1697–1764) was one of the rare foreigners at the Russian court whose loyalty to the Russian Empire was not limited by the political and diplomatic service. Born in the Duchy of Courland, Keyserling was invited to St Petersburg by Empress Anna Ioannovna after she ascended the throne. He had a significant cultural impact, holding the position of president of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences and Arts. It was during his presidency that Vasily Trediakovsky joined this noble institution and was entrusted with the task of "cleaning the Russian language by writing poetry and prose." The miniature is made after The Portrait of Hermann Karl von Keyserling (1697–1764) by the German painter Michael Christoph Emanuel Hagelgans, a court painter of the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa from 1761.