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, January 27, 2019

A place to hang the pictures - interior views of the mansion of Pavel Sergeievich Stroganov, St. Petersburg, 1865

The Drawing Room. The watercolors here are the work of Jules Mayblum. (Of whom I've been able to find nothing.)
The Boudoir.
The Corner Salon.
The Yellow Drawing Room.
The Dining Room.
The Library.


Count Pavel Sergeievich Stroganov, circa 1850s.

Count Pavel Sergeievich Stroganov (1 (13) April 1823– 1 December 1911), Grand Marshal - Ober-Schenk - of the Russian imperial court, art collector, and philanthropist. He was the second son of Count Sergei Grigorievich Stroganoff and Natalia Pavlovna Stroganov, herself daughter of Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov; their marriage had connected both the older and younger lines of the Stroganov family. In 1851 he married Anna Dmitrievna Buturlin (1828-1906), daughter of Dimitri Petrovich Buturlin, but they would have no children. Even before his marriage, while traveling abroad, Count Stroganov began buying paintings, thereby continuing a celebrated family tradition: the Stroganovs were passionate art collectors. Inheriting property not far from the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg - at Ulitsa Sergeievskaya 11 (now Ulitsa Tchaikovsky 11), at the corner of Ulitsa Mokhovaya - he commissioned court architect Ippolit Monighetti to build a new mansion. (Or "palace", but not to be confused with the famous Stroganov Palace on Nevsky Prospect, built to the designs of Rastrelli in the 1750s.) Constructed between 1857 and 1859, the count turned his new home into a veritable museum, a setting for an art collection which included treasures of Italian painting from the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, applied European arts from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and Chinese art.

The exterior and cross-section of the mansion. Two more watercolors by Mayblum.

From 1878 to 1882, to the designs of Maximilian Egorovich Messmacher, two stories were added over the entrance gate to accommodate the building of a home chapel. In 1911 the count died without issue, and various of his relations fought over his fortune and art collection, but his great-nephew, Prince Vladimir Alexeievich Shcherbatov inherited the mansion. During the First World War, the home was used as a hospital for the Danish detachment (?) and the Russian Red Cross.

Circa 1916. The Danish flag appears to be flying over the entrance.
Ward in the Drawing Room. (Three images.)
Ward in the Yellow Drawing Room. (Four images.)
The Corner Salon can be seen through the doorway.
Ward in the Corner Salon.

After the Russian Revolution much of the Stroganov family emigrated and all the family property that remained in Russia was nationalized. Those Russian nobles who remained in Russia were much persecuted over the next few decades; almost none survived by the end of the Second World War. And Prince Shcherbatov, as well as his mother and sister, were shot by the Bolsheviks in 1920.

Circa 2013.
The original intertwined Cs for Stroganov (C = S in Cyrillic) remain on the balconies and in the ironwork of the gate.

At some point - I've been unable to discover when, but I presume after the Revolution - two more floors were added to the building. In Soviet times, various institutions were housed in the mansion; the Central Music College was located there during the Thirties and Forties. As far as I can tell, it may still be occupied by the University of Information Technology, Mechanics, and Optics, though much restoration work has been carried out in the last five years.

Circa 2013. (Eight images.) The Corner Salon.
The Dining Room.
The Yellow Drawing Room.
A recent photograph of the building. (The balconies are missing here; I certainly hope they have since been put back in place.)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Raquel Meller Performing "El Relicario" - a portrait by Carlos Vázquez Úbeda, circa 1920

Raquel Meller (born Francisca Romana Marqués López; 9 March 1888, Tarazona – 26 July 1962, Barcelona), Spanish singer and actress. She was an international star in the 1920s and 1930s, appearing in several films and touring Europe and the Americas. She was twice booked to perform in the United States, but canceled both appearances. And even when Charlie Chaplin asked her in 1926 to appear in one of his films, she demurred. During the Spanish Civil War, she lived in France and then moved to Argentina. She returned to Spain at the end of the Thirties but soon faded from public view. Interest in her was rekindled some twenty years later when singer and actress Sara Montiel, appeared in two films and sang songs popularized by Meller. And when she died a few years later, at the age of seventy-four, it was reported that one hundred thousand people witnessed her funeral procession.

El Relicario is a pasodoble written by the popular composer José Padilla in 1914. At first unsuccessful, it was soon taken over by Meller who made an international hit of the song. She recorded it several times and performed it all over the world; in Paris the song was so successful that 110,000 copies of the edition were sold and spawned a fashion for canes, hats, handkerchiefs, gloves, etc., inspired by El Relicario. It was later recorded by countless singers, and was even used as the theme for Eisenhower's election campaign in 1952.


Carlos Vázquez Úbeda (31 December 1869, Ciudad Real  - 31 August 1944, Barcelona), Spanish painter and illustrator. Professionally successful, his work consisted mainly of portraits, genre scenes, and paintings of "Spanish beauties." Forced to flee Spain during the Civil War, Raquel Meller invited him and his wife and daughter to live at a residence of hers in Nice. In 1938 he returned to Spain where he died six years later at the age of seventy-four.

The model and the artist at work on the portrait.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Randomly XIV

Temptation, by Gustav Bernhard Österman, circa first quarter of the twentieth century.
Le Diable au corps, by German Lorca, 1949.
Dorothea Hannah, by James McIntosh Patrick, 1928.
Riverbank in Moonlight, by Charles-François Daubigny, 1875.
Unidentified Brazilian woman, by Revert Henrique Klumb, 1872 (?).
Aranjuez Garden, Arbor, II, by Santiago Rusiñol, 1907.
Pomegranates, by John Singer Sargent, 1908.
Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?), by Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci), circa 1528–1530.
Georgia Doble Sitwell, by William Acton, circa mid-1930s.
Carol Kane, unknown photographer, 1976.
Pier Maria III de' Rossi, conte di San Secondo, by Parmigianino, circa 1535-38.
Polytès, fils de Priam, observant les mouvements des Grecs vers Troie, by Hippolyte Flandrin, 1835.
Unknown, 1934. Courtesy Ralf De Jonge.
Children's record cover, 1947.
Madame Élisabeth (? ), by Charles Emmanuel Leclercq, 1775 (?). In 1775, the King's sister was eleven....
Eugene Meyer, by the Athletic Model Guild, circa late 1940's - early 1950's. 
Unknown. Courtesy Ralf De Jonge.
Japanese women and child in Western-style dress, by Toyohara Chikanobu, 1889.
Self-portrait, by Miklós Barabás, 1841.
Untitled 3, (Ambrotype), by Jody Ake, 2005.
Exposition universelle de 1900 - Paris, Le Palais de l'électricité, unknown artist, circa 1900.
La Colère d'Achille, by François-Léon Bénouville, 1847. (Frankly, I think he looks more confused than "wrathful"!)
Countess Sofia Bobrinskaya, née Sheremeteva, by Hippolyte Robillard, 1863.
Unknown. Circa 1920s-30s.
Klostergarten (Monastery Garden), by Oswald Achenbach, circa second half of the nineteenth century. 
Pauline in Paris, by Sir James Gunn, 1939. Pauline was the artist's wife and frequent model.
Une étude de femme d'après nature or Portrait of Madame Soustras, by Marie-Denise Villers, 1802.
Unknown. Courtesy Stephen Rutledge.
Ferdinando de' Medici in Polish costume with a sabre, by Justus Sustermans, circa 1622.
The Saddler's Daughter, by George Spencer Watson, circa 1923-24 
Portal of a stairway tower, with a man descending the stairs (thought to depict the moment before the assassination of William the Silent
in the Prinsenhof, Delft, in 1584), attributed to Egbert Lievensz. van der Poel, 1640.
Thomas Hood, by unknown artist, circa 1832-34.
Advertisement for Cinzano Spumanti, by Plinio Codognato, 1933.
Russian gendarmes, 1890.
Ferdinand, Count von Werdenberg, by Samuel van Hoogstraten, 1652.
Eine Auferstehung, by Michael Triegel, 2006.
Unknown, circa 1910s. Courtesy Ralf De Jonge.
Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna with her daughter Maria, by Karl Briullov, 1830.
Unknown. Courtesy Ralf De Jonge.
La Contessa Malacrida, by Ettore Tito, 1926.
Unknown. Courtesy Stephen Rutledge.
Unknown noblewoman or courtier, by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, first half of the eighteenth century.
Johann Friedrich I, Elector of Saxony, called "Johann the Magnanimous", when a child, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1509.
Cover for Vogue Magazine, by Helen Dryden, 1916.
Wien 1, Kärntner Ring, Eingang des Hotel Bristol: Dame und Offiziere, unknown photographer, 1917.