Stakheev was a wealthy merchant and the nephew of artist Ivan Shishkin. He and his family fled Russia for France before the First World War taking with them what possessions they could and hiding everything else in the hope of one day returning. When Stakheev did return to Moscow after the Revolution to retrieve some of the silver from his property (since nationalised and converted into the House of the Railway Workers) he was apprehended by the Secret Police, but managed to bargain for his release. The episode allegedly served as inspiration for Ilf and Petrov's satirical novel The Twelve Chairs.
The canvas has been strip-lined and recently restretched. There is some buckling in the lower right corner. A small paint chip is visible in the upper left corner. There is a diagonal line of retouching just visible to the naked eye in the upper right corner of the composition. Inspection under UV light reveals the aforementioned retouching in the upper right as well as to the cheek and hairline of the sitter and other scattered areas of retouching. Held in a modern gold-painted 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."