An aristocrat, traveller and diplomat, with artistic talents

GAGARINE, Prince Grégoire – Kniaz Grigorii Grigorevich GAGARIN

Dessins et croquis d'après nature. Risunki i nabroski s natury

Publication: Expéd. p. la confection des papiers d'État, St. Petersbourg, 1902.

GAGARINE, Prince Grégoire – Kniaz Grigorii Grigorevich GAGARIN, Dessins et croquis d’après nature. Risunki i nabroski s natury

Gagarin’s artistic record of Turkish and Caucasian types, among other sketches reproduced, including portraits of Russian aristocrats in the Caucasus, Gypsies in Moscow and views of Egypt and Greece. A beautiful, large format production of one of the best Russian presses of the time. A fine example with contemporary provenance.

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£4,500

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Our Notes & References

Fine artistic record of Turkish and Caucasian types, among other sketches reproduced, including portraits of Russian aristocrats in the Caucasus, Gypsies in Moscow and views of Egypt and Greece.

A beautiful, large format production of one of the best Russian presses of the time, the State Press. It had produced, a few years earlier, a thicker but similar work, using the same format and presentation on the same mounts within a folder. There were also sketches of the Caucasus and its people, drawn by the artist Th. Horschelt, also presented in French and Russian: Kavkakie pokhodnye risunki. Etudes militaires faites au Caucase.

Prince Grigorii Grigorievich Gagarin (1810-93) was born to the princely Rurikid Gagarin family. He first lived with his parents in Rome, where his father Prince Grigorii Ivanovich was a Russian ambassador and, after showing promise in art, took private lessons from the major Russian painter Karl Briullov and the French battle painter and Orientalist Horace Vernet. In 1832 Gagarin returned to his native St Petersburg, where his artistic abilities were admired by the Russian literati. He illustrated Pushkin’s works ‘Ruslan and Liudmila’, ‘The Queen of Spades’, ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan’, among others (see Naidich). He also became close to the opposition ‘Circle of Sixteen’ and the poet Mikhail Lermontov. In 1840, he followed the exiled Lermontov to the Caucasus in the Tengin Regiment, active in the Caucasian War. They took part in the operations against the Gortsy, the native people inhabiting the mountains of the Caucasus, and Gagarin remained in the army after Lermontov’s death in a duel in 1841. He participated in the General Chernyshov expedition to Daghestan and finally settled in Tiflis, Georgia, serving in 1848-55 under Prince Vorontsov. Throughout his travels and sojourns in the Caucasus, the sensibility, intelligence and skills of the Prince allowed him to develop an intimate knowledge of the landscapes, buildings and numerous ethnic groups of the region. This produced a rich, skilful visual record, which he published in various works, most notably two impressive folios: Le Caucase pittoresque and Costumes du Caucase.

These Dessins et croquis, a posthumous publication, was to be his last portfolio. Since then, his works have been celebrated in a number of galleries and exhibitions, including one organised by the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2010.

Provenance

D.M. Ostafev (Dmitrii Modestovich Ostafev, 1862-1916, acting State Counsellor, chamberlain, official of the Department of Spiritual Affairs of Foreign Religions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, writer and bibliophile; bookplate to upper pastedown]; V.I. Klochkov – Libraire W. Klotschkoff (Petrograd, Liteiny 55; bookshop label to lower pastedown).

Bibliography

Kornilova A. Grigorii Gagarin. Moscow: Belyi gorod, 2004; Savinov A. G.Gagarin. Moscow: The Tretyakov Gallery, 1950; Naidich, E. ‘Pushkin i khudozhnik G.G. Gagarin’.

Item number

885

 

Physical Description

Folio (52 x 37 cm). Title, list of plates, both in Russian and French, and 30 plates, most in colour, tipped-in as issued on 24 mounts of thicker blue paper, printed numbering the mounts.

Binding

Loose as issued in original publisher’s green cloth folder, gilt lettering in Russian and French to upper cover, marbled paper lining.

Condition

Title and text leaves with marginal creases and two small closed tears, minor crease and tear to one paper mount, portfolio a bit rubbed in places, otherwise an attractive example with plates in fine condition.

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