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



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Interiors of the Stieglitz Mansion, by Luigi Premazzi, 1869-71


The Ballroom.

Baron Alexander von Stieglitz (1 September 1814, St. Petersburg - 24 October 1884, St. Petersburg), Russian financier and philanthropist. Born the only son of Ludwig von Stieglitz - a Jewish German-born banker who immigrated to Russia and converted to Christianity, and who became court banker to Alexander I and was made a baron - he took over his father's banking business at the latter's death in 1843. He became Russia's leading financier, the first governor of the Bank of Russia and, in addition to contributing to many other charities and institutions, was founder of the Central College of Technical Drawing (now the A. L. Stieglitz St. Petersburg State Industrial Art Academy).

The Ballroom - detail.

His Renaissance Revival mansion on the English Embankment in St. Petersburg was constructed on the site of two older buildings - and at the enormous cost of 3.5 million rubles - from 1859 to 1862, to the designs of architect Alexander Krakau. After the death of Stieglitz in 1884, the mansion was inherited by his adopted daughter, and then purchased by the State Treasury in 1887 as the intended residence of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich shortly before his marriage to Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna, daughter of King George I of Greece. (The building is sometimes referred to as the palace of Grand Duke Paul.) After the death of his twenty-year-old wife during the birth of their second child in 1891, the Grand Duke did not return to live in the building. For a long time afterward it stood vacant. Eventually it became home to various Soviet institutions, and was recently acquired by St. Petersburg State University. The university’s planned restoration is expected to cost fifty to sixty million dollars.

Study of Baroness Stieglitz.
The White Drawing Room.
The White Drawing Room - detail.
The Dining Room.
The Concert Hall.
The Concert Hall - detail.
The Drawing Room.
The Main Study.
The Main Study - detail. (I love that there's a billiard table in the alcove.)
The Blue Drawing Room.
The Library.
The Library - detail. (The object on the stand is a model of the celebrated Millenium of Russia monument, erected in Novgorod in 1862.)
The Dining Room.
The Supper Room.
The Supper Room - detail.

Recent pictures of the Stieglitz Mansion.

The Concert Hall (2).
The Ballroom.
The Drawing Room (2).
The White Drawing Room.


***

Luigi Ossipovich Premazzi (1814, Milan - 1891, Istanbul), Italian painter, long resident in Russia, best known for his beautifully precise and atmospheric watercolors of grand, densely decorated interiors. He attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and then the private school run by Giovanni Migliara. Having moved to Russia in 1839 (or circa 1850, depending on the source), from 1851 he was a much-commissioned chronicler of the lavish palace interiors of Russia's aristocratic and Imperial families, and he became a teacher at St. Petersburg's Imperial School of Fine Arts in 1861.






7 comments:

  1. Magnificent, I have pictures of Baron and Baroness Stieglitz during the famous Costume Ball at the Winter Palace in 1903, my great grand parents were invited as well.

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    1. I wonder how the Baron and Baroness were related to this Baron, who died in 1884 and I thought he only left an adopted daughter; very difficult to find information on these people. I have an original page/image of the Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna from the 1903 Boyar Ball folio, brought out of Russia after the Revolution in the bottom of a trunk I am told; I quite treasure it. : )

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    2. The Baroness was still alive, she was a daughter of Prince zu Sayn Wittgenstein and was adopted by Baron Alexander von Stieglitz, her husband took the title thanks to an Imperial decree of Tsar Alexander III, he was born a Baron von Stackelberg, so they use both titles as well.

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    3. Ah, yes, those Imperial decrees were so helpful in keeping a good name in play! Just as in the case of Princess Zinaida Yusupova's marriage to Count Sumarokov-Elston; les Yusupov lasted one more generation at least. Thank you for the information!

      By the strangest coincidence, my post for tomorrow includes a portrait of a lady I presume to be an ancestress of yours. I found a lovely portrait by van Dyck of the future 7th Earl of Derby, his wife and a daughter that I wanted to share. Then, in doing research on the sitters, I found that the Countess was born a de la Trémoille -- a relation?

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  2. Wow...I think I like it empty best -thats a whole lot!

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    1. I can't say the architecture and décor of the mid-nineteenth century is at all to my taste, Stefan. Yikes. But I do marvel at how Premazzi and the other leading watercolorists of that genre - "interiorists"? - were able to so accurately capture it all; perspective like this is hard enough, but when you add in all those neo-rococo curves...? Oh, I have to go lie down now...! ; )

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  3. Though Premazzi's watercolours may seem a bit overcooked for my taste, seeing them in contrast to the mansion as it appears today, was nothing short of astonishing. Marvelous post, once again!

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