Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 4]

January 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Avrorva Stjernvall Demidova 1868 Winterhalter

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 4]

As it has become customary with my blog entries, here is an abbreviated list of the sitter’s descendants, limited to the first three generations:

Eve Aurora Charlotta Stjernvall (Bjornesborg 7.08.1808-Helsinki 13.05.1902), m.1st 1836 Pavel Nikolaevich Demidov (1798-1840); m.2nd 1846 Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin (1814-ka Crimea 1854)

1.  Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, 2nd Prince di San Donato (1839-1885); m.1st 1867 Princess Maria Elimovna Meshcherskaia (1844-1868); m.2nd St.Petersburg 1871 Princess Elena Petrovna Troubetzkaia (1853-1917)

1.1.  Elim Pavlovich Demidov, 3rd Prince di San Donato (1868-1943): m.1893 Countess Sofia Illarionovna Worontzova-Dachkova (1870-1953)

1.2. Nikita Pavlovich Demidov, Prince di San Donato (1872-1874)

1.3. Aurora Pavlovna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1873-1904), m.1st 1892 (div.1896) HRH Prince Arsen of Yugoslavia (1859-1938); m.2nd 1897 Conte Palatin Nicola Giovanni Maria di Noghera (1875-1944)

1.3.1. HRH Paul, Prince of Yougoslavia (1893-1976), m.1923 HRH Olga, Princess of Greece & Denmark (1903-1997), having had issue, two sons and one daughter (descendants: Yugoslavia, Gaubert, Oxenberg, and Balfour families)

1.3.2. Helene Aurore di Noghera, Contessa Palatine di Noghera (1898-1967), m. Gaston Joseph Tissot (1891-1945), havin had issue, 1 son (descendants: Tissot Demidoff family)

1.4. Anatole Pavlovitch Demidov, 4th Principe di San Donato (1874-1943), m. 1894 Mlle Eugénie Podmener (1871-1958)

1.4.1.  Helena Anatolievna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1901-1970), m.1926 Paul René Geoffroy (1903-1991) – s.p.

1.4.2. Eugénie Anatolievna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1902-1955), m.1927 Jean Gerber (1905-1981), having had issue, one son (descendants: Gerber and Merrazzini families)

1.4.3. Aurora Anatolievna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1909-1944), m.1933 Jean Giraud (1912-1962), having had issue, one daughter (descendants: Pouliot and Filion families)

1.5. Marie Pavlovna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1877-1955), m.1897 Prince Semion Semeonovich Abamelek-Lazarev (1857-1916) – s.p.

1.6. Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, Prince di San Donato (1879-1909)

1.7. Elena Pavlovna Demidova, Princess di San Donato (1884-1959), m.1st 1903 (div.1907) Count Alexander Pavlovitch Shuvalov (1881-1935); m.2nd 1907 (div.1926) Nikolai Alexeievitch Pavlov (1866-1931)

1.7.1. Count Pavel Alexandrovich Shuvalov (1903-1960); m.1933 Anna Ivanovna Raevskaya (1903-1991), having had issue, one son (descendants: Shuvalov family)

1.7.2. Countess Elena Alexandrovna Shuvalova (1904-1992); m.1924 (div 1930) Prince Peter Alexandrovich Lieven (1887-1943); m.2nd Wilfred Noel Stubbs (1911-?), having had issue, one son (descendants: Stubbs family)

Sources: http://www.angelfire.com/realm/gotha/gotha/demidov.html [15/05/2012]; http://www.geneall.net [20/05/2012]; http://thepeerage.com [20/05/2012]; http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famille_Demidoff [2/01/2014]; http://genroy.free.fr/demidoff.html [4/01/2014].

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 3]

January 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Avrorva Stjernvall Demidova 1868 Winterhalter

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 3]

As it has become customary with my blog entries, here is an abbreviated ancestry of the sitter, limited to the first three generations:

  1. Eve Aurora Charlotta Stjernvall (Bjornesborg 7.08.1808-Helsinki 13.05.1902)
  2. Carl Johann Stjernvall (1764-1815), m.1799
  3. Eva Gustava von Willebrand (1784-1844)
  4. Erik Johan Stjernvall (1724-1777), m.
  5. Catharina Elisabet Nonneman (1744-1791)
  6. Ernst Gustav von Willebrand (1751-1809), m.1778
  7. Vendla Gustava von Wright (1755-1820)
  8. Erik Wallwik Stjernvall (1685-1754), m.
  9. Brita Hirvo (1695-1754)
  10. Carl Frederick Nonneman (?-?), m.
  11. Gertrud Katharina Hoetz (?-?)
  12. Ernst Gustav von Willebrand (1726-1784), m.
  13. Sofia Catarina Jägehorn af Spurila (1727-1791)
  14. Georg Henrik von Wright (1723-1797), m.1750
  15. Vendela Regina Borgström (1726-1776)

 

Sources: http://gw.geneanet.org [4/01/13]; http://www.geneall.net [4/01/13]

To be continued…

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 2]

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

Avrorva Stjernvall Demidova 1868 Winterhalter

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842) [Part 2]

For those who understand Russian, there’s a delightful lecture about Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina by Mikhail Kostolomov on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMezq1KjbRM; and an in-depth article about her at http://www.vbrg.ru/articles/istorija_vyborga/istoricheskie_lichnosti_nashego_goroda/avrora_karamzina/.

Avrora Karlovna Stjernvall, a daughter of a Finnish governor, frequently travelled to St Petersburg, where her beauty and intelligence caused sensation. Most prominent Russian poets, such as Pushkin and Lermontov, dedicated verses to her, and the Emperor Nikolai I appointed her as a lady-in-waiting to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. In 1836 she married the fabulously wealthy Pavel Nikolaevich Demidov, the owner of extensive mines and factories in the resource-rich Ural region of Russia. However, too much of a good life impacted his health, and Demidov died only four years after their marriage. The fortune smiled again on Avrova, when she fell in love and married in 1846 Andrei Nikolaevich Karamzin. However, their happiness was also short lived, as in 1854 Karamzin was killed in the Crimean War.

Avrova Karlovna never remarried, but concentrated on the upbringing of her only son, Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, and took an active part in the management of the family fortunes and business affairs. While her family palace in St Petersburg, with its rounds of balls and dinners, became a prestigious rendezvous place for the social and artistic elite of the Russian Empire, Avrova Karlovna also used her immense fortune to help innumerable charities, and endow various welfare, health, and educational institutions in Russia as well as in her native Finland. She was fated to outlive her only son as well as his first wife, and one of her grandchildren, dying in 1902 a few months short of her 94th birthday.

In spite of the wealth and stature of the sitter, her portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter appears rather understated. However, it fits among other portraits by Winterhalter of the era. In the middle of the 1860s, the years of hard work and constant travel around Europe and across the Channel (and think of the travel conditions in those days!) took their toll on Winterhalter’s health; and in 1865 he became seriously ill. Henceforth he undertook extended trips to health spas and holiday resorts, and painted significantly less. With a few notable exceptions, large-scale, full- and three-quarter-length portraits became rare in his oeuvre, and the artist concentrated more and more on smaller, more intimate half-length and head-and-shoulder portraits.

Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina is shown accordingly in a head-and-shoulders format, appearing close to the viewer within the intimate setting of the vignette-like oval portrait. Her hair is parted in the middle and gathered low at the nape to emphasise the fashionably correct oval of her face. The jewellery is minimal, and limited to earrings and a single string of pearls. While Avrora Karlovna is shown décolleté, a lace head-dress modestly descends covering her shoulders. As I have seen neither the original portrait nor the colour photograph of it, I can only presume that it is carried out in a sombre palette, comparable to Winterhalter’s portraits of Mme Mélanie Goldschmidt (1834-1894) (Louvre) and Countess Genowefa Puslowska (1821-1867) (Collegium Maius), both of which were also painted in 1868. Such encapsulation of Avrora Karlovna also fits within the preferred depiction of widows and ‘women of a certain age’ during the second half of the nineteenth century.

To be continued…

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842)

January 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Avrorva Stjernvall Demidova 1868 Winterhalter

Notes to Portrait of Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall, 1868 (no 842).

Dear Friends,

In June 2012, I published a post correcting the identity of the sitter in a portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter from Princess Mathilde Bonaparte (1820-1904) to Avrora Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina (1808-1902), née Stjernvall. For more details, please see https://franzxaverwinterhalter.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/franz-xaver-winterhalter-and-the-demidov-portrait/ .

I was thrilled to receive two emails, virtually on the New Year’s Eve, one from Alexandre Tissot Demidoff, and another from Tryggve Gestrin, of Esbo Stadsmuseum, Finland, confirming my re-identification.

Furthermore, they have informed me that in 2006, the Esbo Stadsmuseum hosted an exhibition dedicated to the sitter. The sitter’s descendants collaborated with the museum curators on the exhibition, and in the process shared rare and precious documents from the family archives.

One of the documents included an illustrated inventory from a residence of the sitter’s descendants… which included this portrait, thus irrefutably confirming the identity of the sitter.

I am most grateful to Alexandre Tissot Demidoff and Tryggve Gestrin for their assistance in my research!

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

PS: Does anyone have a colour image of this portrait?

Franz Xaver Winterhalter and the ‘Other’ Demidov Portrait

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

842a 68 Demidova Meshcherskaia Winterhalter

Franz Xaver Winterhalter and the ‘Other’ Demidov Portrait

Further patronage by the Demidov family is suggested by a portrait in the Museum of Fine Arts, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The painting is known as a Portrait of a Lady, but it has also been suggested that this is a portrait of another woman from the Demidov family (illustrated on the left). In this entry, I would like to firmly establish the identity of this sitter and the date of the painting.

The research into the Demidov family history suggests that the woman in the portrait is no other than Princess Maria Elimovna Meshcherskaia [Княжна Мария Элимовна Мещерская] (1844-1868), who married in June 1867 Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, 2nd Prince di San Donato (1839-1885), son of the sitter discussed in the previous post (Avrova Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina, née Stjernvall, 1808-1902). Her identity is confirmed by contemporary photographs of Princess Maria just before her marriage, which show the same distinctive, almost Oriental beauty, elongated oval of the face, large soulful eyes, and the prominent nose (see the three images below).

Meshcherskaia-Demidova 04Meshcherskaia-Demidova 03Meshcherskaia-Demidova 01Princess Maria Meshcherskaia is predominantly known today as the first love of Alexander III, Emperor of Russia when a Grand Duke and only third in line to the throne. However, upon the death of his older brother, Alexander stood to inherit the Russian Imperial Crown, and under the pressure from his parents, he gave up Princess Maria Meshcherskaia to marry a girl from his own caste, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, the future Empress Maria Feodrovna. Princess Meshcherskaia was ordered to leave St Petersburg, and while in Paris she met – and married shortly afterwards – Prince Paul Demidov, one of the most eligible bachelors and wealthiest Russian aristocrats.

But her newly found happiness in married life was not to last. Princess Maria died in August 1868 two days after giving birth to her only child, Elim Pavlovich Demidov, future 3rd Prince di San Donato (1868-1943).

842 68 Demidova WinterhalterWinterhalter’s portrait of the ill-fated Princess was most likely painted within a space of fourteen months, between June 1867 and August 1868. The existence of Winterhalter’s portrait of Princess Marie’s mother-in-law, Avrova Karlovna Demidova-Karamzina, which also dates from around c. 1868 (oil on canvas, 60.0 x 50.0 cm, Private Collection, FXW cat no 842, illustrated left), suggests a possibility that both portraits were commissioned from Winterhalter simultaneously, and there are numerous precedents in Winterhalter’s practice to paint various members of the same family within a short period of time, more often than not within a space of a few months. The date of the portrait can be further confirmed by its comparison with the recently-surfaced portrait of Sophie, Duchesse de Morny (née Princess Troubetzkaia; 1838-1896), also from c. 1868 (oil on canvas, present location unknown, no 846, illustrated lower right). Both portraits bear striking compositional similarities and show both sitters within an oval portrait format, standing at three-quarter-length, enveloped in a fur-edged wrap.

663 59 Troubetzkaia Winterhalter846 68 Morny WinterhalterTherefore, both the date and the identity of the sitter can now be firmly established, as a the portrait of Princess Maria Elimovna Meshcherskaia, Princess Demidova di San Donato, of c. 1868 (FXW cat no 842a).

It is an interesting twist of fate, that the widower, Prince Paul Demidov, married secondly, three years later, in June 1871, Princess Elena Petrovna Troubetzkaia [Княжна Елена Петровна Трубецкая] (1853-1917), whose mother, Princess Elizaveta Esperovna Troubetzkaia (née Princess Beloselsaia-Belozerskaia; 1834-1907), was captured by Winterhalter in the famous, effervescent 1859 portrait (oil on canvas, 147.0 x 108.0 cm, Private Collection, FXW cat no 663, illustrated lower far right).

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

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