Sitter’s Identity Corrected: Portrait of Princess Lina Gagarina, 1857 (cat no 590) [Part 2]

January 2, 2014 § 3 Comments

Lina Gurieva Gagarina 1857 Winterhalter

Sitter’s Identity Corrected: Portrait of Princess Lina Gagarina, 1857 (cat no 590) [Part 2]

The provenance research might be of assistance in identifying the sitter.

It is known that the portrait was acquired by the Uffizi in 1934 from Count Nikolai Mikhailovich Muraviov (1874-1934) (see Uffizi 1980, 686). A quick genealogical research identifies the following ancestry of the former owner of the portrait:

  1. Count Nikolai Mikhailovich Muraviov (1874-1934)
  2. Count Mikhail Nikolaevich Muraviov (1845-1900), m. 1871
  3. Princess Sophia Nikolaevna Gagarina (1847-1874)
  4. Count Nikolai Mikhailovich Muraviov (1820-1869), m. [?]
  5. Ludmilla Mikhailovna Posen (1822-c.1849)
  6. Prince Nikolai Nikolaevich Gagarin (1822/1823[?]-1902), m. 1842/1843[?]
  7. Countess Aleksandra Nikolaevna Gurieva (1825-1907[o.s.]/1908[n.s.])

Of Count Muraviov’s two grandmothers, the paternal grandmother, Ludmila Mikhailovna Posen [Людмила Михайловна Позен] is belived to have died c. 1849. Only one candidate remains, Aleksandra Nikolaevna Gurieva [Александра Николаевна Гурьева], who would have been in her early thirties when the portrait was painted.

Looking at Winterhalter’s portrait at the Uffizi, one is immediately struck just how much the woman in the portrait looks like her father, Nikolai Dmitrievich Guriev (1792-1849), in his famous portrait by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) – reputedly the only Russian to ever have been painted by Ingres.


The portrait, which is presently in the collection of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (1821, oil on canvas, 107 x 86 cm), clearly shows that both Count Guriev and the woman in the Winterhalter portrait have similarly protruding eyes and a prominent nose – though Winterhalter has significantly idealised and regularised these features in the portrait of the woman.

So, could this be indeed Countess Aleksandra Nikolaevna Gurieva, wife of Prince Nikolai Nikolaevich Gagarin? Could ‘Lina’ be a nickname for ‘Aleksandra’?

Further research provides irrefutable proof that a lady by the name of “Lina Gagarine née Gourieff” was a prominent member of the Russian high society and court circles in the middle of the nineteenth century. Constance d’Azeglio mentions her in the Souvenirs among the women by whom she was entertained during her visit to St Petersburg in the 1840s; and Baliabin also talks of “Lina Gagarine née Gourieff” among the Russian women who frequently travelled between Paris and Baden in the middle of the nineteenth century.

On the basis of the provenance, genealogical, and bibliographical research, I propose – nay, argue – that the correct identity of the sitter in the Winterhalter portrait at the Uffizi is Princess Aleksandra (Lina) Nikolaevna Gagarina (1825-1907), née Countess Gurieva [Княгиня Александра (Лина) Николаевна Гагарина, ур. Графиня Гурьева].

To be continued…

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

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§ 3 Responses to Sitter’s Identity Corrected: Portrait of Princess Lina Gagarina, 1857 (cat no 590) [Part 2]

  • Kaja says:

    The man in the Ingres paintimg is not Dimitri Alexandrovich Guriev but his son Nicolay Dimitrievich (1792-1849). This portrait dates from 1820s when Dimitri Alexandrovich was around 70.

    • artsdiary365 says:

      Thank you, and you are absolutely right! I have simply cut and pasted the name of the sitter’s grandfather instead of the father by mistake!!! I have corrected the post accordingly – and thank you for being so observant!

  • Kaja says:

    De rien! It’s a great pleasure for me to follow your work.

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You are currently reading Sitter’s Identity Corrected: Portrait of Princess Lina Gagarina, 1857 (cat no 590) [Part 2] at The Winterhalter Catalogue.


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