Portrait of Alexei Bobrinsky in childhood

Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov • Painting, 1760-th , 47×59.5 cm
Digital copy: 1.0 MB
1400 × 1896 px • JPEG
47 × 59.5 cm • 76 dpi
23.7 × 32.1 cm • 150 dpi
11.9 × 16.1 cm • 300 dpi
Digital copy is a high resolution file, downloaded by the artist or artist's representative. The price also includes the right for a single reproduction of the artwork in digital or printed form.
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1760-th
Size: 47×59.5 cm
Artwork in selections: 9 selections
Digital copy shipping and payment
A link for digital copy downloading will be available right after the payment is processed
Pay on site. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express.

Description of the artwork «Portrait of Alexei Bobrinsky in childhood»

Among other paintings obtained by the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg cameras-callmasters offices (agencies in charge of the decor and furnishings of the Emperor's bedroom) was a portrait of a pretty two - or three-year-old with a rattle in his hand. The authorship of the paintings was in question. As for the personality of the child, on the basis of available on the back label indicating that the picture was kept in the private apartments of Catherine II, it is reasonable to assume that this is none other than the great Prince, the future Emperor Paul I in infancy.

Stylistic examination very soon established not only by the author (of course they could be only roars – most appreciated at court portraitist, not just writing and Paul, and Catherine herself, and even her favorites), but the creation time – about the middle of 1760-ies. That's all the questions of the attribution of the portrait could be considered exhausted. But here's the thing! Grand Duke Paul, the heir to the Russian throne, was born in 1754 and m. so, by the mid-60s, he was supposed to be rather gloomy as a teenager (or, as they say, ignoramus) than touching a toddler in a infant dress and cap.

It would be possible to write off the discrepancy on wrongly calculated the chronology. But was even more a clear sign that the portrait is still not Paul. The fact that on the fifth day after the birth of the heir to the throne was bestowed the order of the high regalia, which he subsequently depicted in all the portraits (recall, for example, children's portraits of Paul, written Alexei Antropovor Anton Losenko). Baby portrait Rokotov Royal no differences had not.

And suddenly everything fell into place: it really was the son of Catherine (because why would she keep in their own rooms is a portrait of another child?), but not Paul! In 1762, just before the coup that brought her to power, Catherine in the atmosphere of top secrecy gave birth to a boy by her lover Grigory Orlov.

She didn't even get a good look at the newborn. No one was supposed to know about the event, so garderobnaya Catherine Basil scorin faked a fire in one of the storerooms of the Winter Palace, diverting the attention of the servants, but he always carried a bastard of the king's chambers. In the family shkurina he was raised to 12 years, then it will be given in the Land gentry case, sent abroad and only 20 years old learns the secret of his birth.

The illegitimate son of Catherine received the name Alex and the last name Bobrinsky, produced from the name of the village of Bobriki, bought for his mother to continue to provide him with some income.

It is no secret that Catherine could not bear children. "Poor, poor Pavel" (in the movie under this title, it brilliantly plays Viktor Sukhorukov) afraid of his August mother to chills and hiccups. Illegal Bobrinsky for a long time wandered far from the homeland, rushed, as all the young people in his circle and age of adventures and sprees from time to time sent humiliated asking for "special favors" to visit St. Petersburg. Already an adult, he was repeatedly condescending, but with the necessary distance adopted by Catherine. Maternal feelings never been among her virtues. To some it will seem monstrous, but the power in the Russian (and not only) Empire – all scary thing. As has witty noticed Tiutchev, "our story to Peter – solid memorial service, after – one criminal case."

Did roars intimate secret of Catherine – the secret birth of the child, whose portrait was ordered? Apparently, he knew. This is evidenced by the meticulous thoroughness, and most importantly, it is obvious, is not subject to doubt on the similarity with the August mother that roars, intentionally or accidentally, gave the young Alexei Bobrinsky.

Author: Anna Yesterday