DescriptionKONSTANTIN MAKOVSKY (Russian, 1839-1915)
Tsar Nicholas II on Horseback,
Pastel on paper laid on canvas
21 x 18 inches (53.3 x 45.7 cm)
Signed lower left in Cyrillic
Maria Flamant, Paris (the artist's granddaughter);
Sotheby's, New York, May 1976; Sotheby's, November 2001
A La Vieille Russie, New York
Laura Cerwinske and Anthony Johnson. Russian Imperial Style, New York: Random House, 1990, page 197, illustrated.
The work offered here is an elegant presentation of Tsar Nicholas II on Horseback. Makovsky was highly valued for his portraiture work stage of his life, with this portrait being completed at a time when he was making more money than ever before. Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor is depicted in the uniform of the Imperial Cavalry Guards, with its gold and silver lace, wearing the distinctive winged helmet. The Tsar of Russia for just over 20 years, from 1894 to 1917, Nicholas ascended to the throne upon the death of his father, Alexander III, and was crowned on May 14, 1896. He married Alexandra Fedorovna who presented him with five children: four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and a son, the Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia and adored his father. Young Alexei followed his father to the front lines in World War I and adopted the military dress of his father.
After suffering through two wars, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and World War I, the Tsar would see two revolutions, the last of which forced his abdication on March 2, 1917. The Tsar and his entire family were eventually executed on July 17, 1918 at Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg.
This pastel portrait of the last Russian Tsar is meticulously executed and captures the regal Nicholas II at the height of his power. Makovsky would precede the Tsar in death by three years, thus making this portrait one of the portraits Makovsky completed of the royal family from life. Another, Portrait of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna, daughter of Nicholas II and Alexandra and completed in 1905 is in the Hermitage Museum at Saint Petersburg.
Estimate: $120,000 - $180,000.
Condition report available upon request.
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