Sladmore: Life in Bronze

Sladmore: Life in Bronze

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 54. Mother and Child (Princess Gagarina and her daughter Marina).

Prince Paul Troubetzkoy

Mother and Child (Princess Gagarina and her daughter Marina)

Lot Closed

April 6, 02:53 PM GMT


25,000 - 35,000 GBP

Lot Details


Prince Paul Troubetzkoy


1866 - 1938

Mother and Child (Princess Gagarina and her daughter Marina)

signed and dated: Paul Troubetzkoy / Moscow / 1899

bronze, brown patina

49cm., 19¼in.

This intimate and personal portrait of Princess Marina Nikolaevna Gargarina (1877-1924), with her second child Marina, was made at the end of Troubetzkoy’s first artistic period, at the moment when in his early thirties he left Italy for Russia. It encapsulates his Milanese training and origins in the Scapigliatura movement. The broad, ‘impressionistic’ handling of the drapery and simple depiction of a universal, everyday scene of a mother holding her child embodies Troubetzkoy’s style and aesthetic, which continued throughout his career.

Princess Marina Nikolaevna Gargarina was Paul Troubtezkoy’s cousin. Her father Nikolaj Troubtezkoy was a philanthropist and musicologist. She married Nikolaj Viktrorovijc Gargarin (1873-1925) and had four children. Her daughter Marina was born in 1897, so she would have been just one year old in this portrait. A bronze in the Russan Museum in Saint Petersburg is signed and dated Paolo Troubetzkoy Intra Peterburg 1898, which emphasizes that the model was conceived at exactly the moment of the transition between his Italian and Russian periods.

It is characteristic of even the most personal of Troubetzkoy’s portraits that he regarded them as much as ideal studies of people or relationships. In the case of this portrait of his cousin, he exhibited the model at the Vienna Succession exhibition of 1899 with the generic title of Junge Frau mit dem Kind. Troubetzkoy frequently explored the theme of a mother and child, primarily in his portraits of his own wife and son. They are amongst his most endearing subjects and move beyond straightforward portraits to become universal representations of motherhood.

Troubetzkoy made a number of versions of his portrait of Princess Gargarina with Marina. A plaster (inv. no. T n.186) in the Museo del Paesaggio, Verbania lacks the inscription of the Russian bronze, but is also dated 1898. There is also a marble (inv. no. T n.187) in Verbania. The present, fine cast is dated 1899. 

Piantoni and P. Venturoli, Paolo Troubetzkoy 1866-1938, exh. cat. Museo del Paesaggio, Verbania Pallanza, 1990, pp.130-1, nos. 66 and 67;  Rabai and R. Troubetzkoy Hahn (ed.), Paolo Troubetzkoy. La Collezione del Museo del Paessaggio, Verbania, 2017, pp. 106-7 and 232; I. Tregulova, Paul Troubetzkoy. Sculptor, exh. cat., State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, 2018, pp. 40-41, nos. 7-8;