Raffet was also close to the prince Anatole Demidoff (1812-1870) who invited him to his scientific expedition in Russia in 1837. This journey led to the publication of Voyage dans la Russie méridionale et la Crimée (1838-1848), which features a hundred lithographs by Auguste Raffet.
After a journey in Spain in 1847 with Raffet, the Prince invited him in 1856 to his palace in Florence, the villa San Donato. The following year, the painter executed this study of two black and white Russian horses, which was featured in the San Donato sale after the prince's death in 1870. The male figure sketched on the right is said to be a portrait of the prince himself, but it is more likely a stable lad.
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