L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, October 17, 2014

Four Russians, by Thomas Lawrence, 1818

General Feodor Petrovich Uvarov (1773 - 1824).
Alexander Ivanovich Chernyshyov (later count, then prince) (1786 - 1857).
Count (later prince) Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov (1782 - 1856).
Tsar Alexander I (1777 - 1825).


  1. The Tsar looks rather "plain Jane" in comparison. Such glitz and drama.

  2. There seems to be no end to the delicious obscurities which find their way to Gods & Foolish Grandeur.
    At risk of turning into a Comment Whore (one sees them everywhere and cringes to join their ranks) I wanted to say
    that at first glance at these portraits, there was an automatic assumption that they depicted English faces, a kind of
    knee-jerk reaction to anything done by Thomas Lawrence. He made everyone look glamorous. Indeed, he has been called
    the Cecil Beaton of his age. (best known example being his Duke of Wellington) But it would be unfair to trivialise Thomas Lawrence in that way, because his portraits have great authority, a kind of stylish grandeur; and what is wrong with giving sitters an extra dose of pizzaz? In any event, the formula seems to have worked with 2 out of the 3 Russian aristocrats on this page.

    1. Yes, I think the work of the very suave and prolific Lawrence is greatly under-appreciated. "Authority", indeed, and great dash. And what gentleman among us wouldn't seem at his best be-medaled, epaulettes glistening, a greatcoat flung dramatically round his shoulders, while low-slung, smoky and strategically lit clouds roil behind him; not at all unlikely that so much "atmosphere" would bring on a coughing fit... but, ah, the glamour!

      And by the way, your visits have not left the slightest parfum de la putain, and your thoughtful comments are greatly appreciated.

  3. One of the great delights of a newly discovered blog is to spend evenings catching up with what has gone before---and as I browse the various postings I am staggered by the richness of imagery and the thought put into their selection, to say nothing of the briskly written essays which occasionally accompany the picture gallery. The posts on Thomas Lawrence had me taking one of my favourite books from the shelf: The English Face, by David Piper. I assume you know it? If not, do procure a copy (preferably the expanded, full colour version published by the National Portrait Gallery in 1992) where you will find your own sensibilities reflected in the author's text.

    1. You are far too kind, Mr. Worthington, I'm sure. But I do appreciate it. I don't own the book you mention, but I catch some whiff of recollection, so I must have encountered it at some point; I'll seek it out. Thank you.