DescriptionRUSSIAN SCHOOL (19th Century)
Portrait of General Ivan Georgievitch Flevitsky, circa 1840
Oil on canvas
69 x 36 inches (175.3 x 91.4 cm)
General Ivan Georgievitch Flevitsky; Ivan Ivanovich Flevitsky, his son; Georgii Ivanovich Flevitsky, his son; Princess Alexandra Obolensky, nee Helene Reza-Bek, his niece
The life-sized portrait offered here is an impressive and rare example of Russian-school portraiture work from the mid-19th century. Apparently commissioned of this accomplished artist to commemorate the General Flevitsky's appointment as Director of the Russian Engineering Academy by Tsar Nicholas I, it is the earliest known representation of the uniform dress for students and graduates of the prestigious Academy. Graduates of this pioneering institution would bring Russia into the industrial age, most notably through their completion of the monumental Moscow-Saint Petersburg railway.
The artist has captured the young, but distinguished General in his finest regalia, a historical snapshot of Imperial Russian civil dress attire. Resplendent in the gold braid of the formal shoulder boards, collar devices and gold knucklebow of the dress sword, this officer is of high station as evidenced by the appointment by Nicholas I himself. With one arm akimbo, hand on his sword, the other on his Napoleonic chapeau, one can see the pride in the face of this officer who almost certainly took part in the project of the great Moscow-Saint Petersburg railway.
History tells us that the engineers planning the project gave Nicholas the honor of mapping out the route. He promptly took out a ruler and drew a straight line between the two cities, a route that was followed almost to the letter, except for a small bypass around the Verbinsky gully which has since been straightened to accommodate the high-speed trains of the modern era.
This beautiful and historic portrait descends directly from the General's family and has been painstakingly researched by Larisa Dukelskaya, Curator of Western European Art, Print Division, the State Hermitage Museum at Saint Petersburg.
Estimate: $24,000 - $30,000.
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