European Demidoff Foundation / Европейский Демидовский фонд
Европейский Демидовский фонд создан в Швейцарии как преемник Лондонского филиала Международного Демидовского фонда (МДФ)
Дата основания: 28 ноября 2022 года (Лугано, Швейцария)
Союз потомков Демидовых, объединившихся для продвижения важного исторического, культурного и филантропического вклада нашей родословной.
- Заявление о миссии: Продвигать историческое наследие поколений членов семьи Демидовых и их важный вклад в искусство, политику, культуру и филантропию.
- Структура членства:
- Члены семьи будут состоять из прямых потомков Демидовых как по мужской, так и по женской линии.
- Академические члены будут состоять из ученых, проводящих исследования для представления и/или публикации своих работ по историческому вкладу Демидовых.
- Общие члены – это представители широкой общественности, которые заинтересованы в том, чтобы их информировали по вопросам, связанными с Демидовым.
- План действий:
- Поделиться со всеми уровнями членства предстоящим расписанием конференций, симпозиумов и других мероприятий, связанных с историческим наследием Демидовых.
- Принимать непосредственное участие в презентациях, конференциях, симпозиумах и музейных выставках, связанных с историческим наследием Демидовых.
- Обеспечить ознакомление членов клуба с недавно опубликованными качественными презентациями и публикациями по Демидовым.
- Если возможно, принимать непосредственное участие в поддержке и публикации качественных книг и журнальных статей, посвященных Демидовым.
- По возможности принимать непосредственное участие в поддержке сохранения и/или ремонта демидовских памятников и сооружений.
- Заниматься сбором средств в поддержку инициатив, связанных с Демидовым, которые поддерживаются большинством членов семьи.
- Заниматься изучением происхождения демидовских предметов по просьбе членов клуба, аукционных домов, музеев, художественных галерей и т.д.
- Заниматься генеалогическими исследованиями, связанными с Демидовыми, по просьбе членов семьи.
- Сотрудничать с исполнительным директором Международного Демидовского фонда в Москве по тем мероприятиям, которые направлены исключительно на поддержку исторического наследия Демидовых.
Руководитель фонда: Alexandre Tissot Demidoff / Александр Тиссо-Демидов, прямой потомок Павла Павловича Демидова, второго князя Сан-Донато.
Материалы, предоставленные Европейским Демидовским Фондом
The First Malachite Hall in Russia: The Pavel Nicholaevich Demidov Mansion on Bolshaya Morskaya
By EDF Academic Member in Spain, Antoinio Perez Caballero
Anatole Demidov: Voyage to Southern Russia in 1837
Anatole Nikolaievitch Demidov was born in Moscow in 1813. This followed the family’s return to Russia following Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. On their return, Anatole’s father, Nicholas, pledged to Tsar Alexander I, the creation of two militias that Nicholas would personally finance and lead against the French invaders. From his earliest days, Anatole was raised as a patriot of Russia and servant of the Tsar.
Nonetheless, in regards to his personality, Anatole was more French than Russian. He was educated primarily in Paris. He spoke several European languages but little Russian. He based himself primarily in Paris, and later at Villa di San Donato, that is located near Florence. He would visit Russia but on instruction from a member of the court of the Tsar.
In 1830, on reaching eighteen years of age, Anatole, decided to make his mark on the world, but in Paris. He had only recently come into his immense inheritance on the passing of his father in 1828. A close friend and mentor was Count Charles de Mornay, a highly cultured man, who was a confidant to the King of the French, Louis Philippe, the ruler of France from 1830 to 1848. During one of his visits to Charles’s apartment, Anatole found himself in the company of the French painter, Eugene Delacroix. Delacroix captured the two ‘dandies’ in conversation and exhibited the painting at the Salon in Paris in 1833. The painting served as a ‘calling card’ for Anatole that effectively ‘opened the door’ to the highest ranks of Parisian society.
Nonetheless, Anatole’s impressive success in Paris was not universally applauded. In Russia, Tsar Nicholas I was not impressed.
Tsar Nicholas I assumed the throne in 1825 and was not positively disposed towards Anatole. He was not happy with Anatole’s decision to settle permanently in Europe. Although Anatole’s industrial business was in Russia, sizeable dividends were regularly taken for reinvestment in Europe in support of Anatole’s lavish lifestyle.
It is believed that Anatole’s Voyage to Southern Russia in 1837 was based on two principle motives. The first was economic. The outcome of the voyage would benefit overall Russian industry as well as Anatole’s industrial empire. The objective was to locate and develop new sources of energy to promote the growth of heavy industry. The second was to secure the favour of the Tsar. Anatole dedicated the entire voyage to the Tsar and personally financed the entire cost of the voyage approximating 500,000 french francs. In turn, Anatole expected to enter into the ‘good graces’ of the Tsar and to receive recognition in the form of a ‘lofty’ title. Unfortunately, Anatole miscalculated on the last point.
The Voyage of 1837 was a true scientific and exploratory expedition. As Anatole wrote in his diary, “the principle objective was to undertake an extensive minerological and geological survey of the new Russian lands”. It was the economic potential that most interested Anatole who expected to find new and rich sources of coal. It was during this period that coal steadily was replacing the use of wood as the combustible source to power heavy industry. Oil also was receiving attention as a generally untapped source of fuel.
For the expedition, Anatole recruited a group of twenty-two French experts from various scientific fields. Each were given blue uniforms to wear pertaining to the French, ‘L’Ecole Royale des Mines’. The first group left from St. Petersburg and was led by Paul Kolounoff. Their role was to explore rich seams of coal that were recently discovered in the territory of Don Cossacks. A second group would then join this group comprised of French engineers who would travel east by river. This group was led by Frederic Le Play, a professor of the Polytechnic in France, who also was in the service of his French sovereign.
A third goup was involved with the arts, natural history, and observations in general. This group embarked on the steamship, Francoise I, and, among others, included Auguste Raffet, Auguste de Sainson, and Anatole. Their voyage was more leisurely traveling along the Danube river east before finally reaching the Black Sea. It was Anatole who led this group and who was accompanied by his lady-friend, la comtesse Fanny de la Rochefoucauld.
Anatole took a particular interest to study the social systems encountered such as local prison practises. Capturing the natural beauty on the voyage was the talented artist, Auguste Raffet, who made numerous sketches of pictureseque scenes. It would be Auguste Raffet and Anatole who, at the end of voyage, would review the many images captured to agree on which would feature in their published chronicles of the voyage.
Anatole’s diary of the voyage, that included Raffet’s lithographs, published in a ‘large’ format, four-volume edition in France in 1840. One volume was dedicated entirely to one hundred of Raffet’s colourised lithographs. Smaller and single versions of the publication would then issue in forthcoming years in Great Britain, France, italy, and finally, in Russia.
The first of the four volumes was Anatole’s diary that included sections contributed by Jules Janin and Auguste de Sainson. Raffet contributed seventy-four charming lithographs to feature in the first volume. The second volume was dedicated to geography, geology, and climate. For the first time, detailed maps of these new Russian lands were presented. The third and fourth volumes focused on botany and zoology that also featured the noted hand-coloured lithographs.
In conclusion, as Anatole’s diary makes clear, this six-month voyage of exploration, had as its principle objective to secure economic benefits. Its second intention was to elicit a positive response fom the Tsar. Unfortunately, on this last point, the voyage failed. The Tsar considered the voyage to be a French initiative, led by Frenchmen, and with everyone dressed in French blue uniforms. The work published first in french and in France. It only published in Russia in 1853, so over ten years following its initial publication. In the eyes of the Tsar, it confirmed that Anatole did not deserve any special favour. For his efforts, Anatole received from the Tsar the modest title of ‘Councillor to the College’.
Nonetheless, regarding its first objective, the voyage proved a resounding economic and scientific success. In terms of energy production, starting from a slow start, by 1913, the extraction of coal from the Donetz region represented 87% of the entire coal production in Russia. In our modern day, coal, as well as oil, have grown to become our leading sources of energy that power our national economies. Of course, this success has gone too far with the excessive dependency on fossil fuels placing at risk the future of our planet. Alternatives are needed if we are to make our planet safe for future generations.
Nonetheless, in the late 1830’s, Anatole already was contemplating the future and seeing the use of new combustible fuels to power modern heavy industry. Anatole actively pursued its consideration, exploration, and exploitation that would help drive forward the economy of Russia as well as the Demidoff industrial empire. In this regard, he calculated correctly.
By Alexandre Tissot Demidoff
Private Sale of Paintings by Elena Demidoff in 1890
It is generally believed that Paul Pavlovitch Demidoff, 2nd Prince of San Donato, disposed of the remaining ‘great’ paintings at his ‘Sale of the Century’ that took place at Villa di San Donato in 1880. Villa di San Donato, in fact, was a private museum with fourteen rooms each dedicated to the arts. The collections were dispersed in a sequence of public sales by Anatole Nikolaievitch that took place in Paris in 1863, 1868, and his final one in 1870. It was Paul Pavlovitch who organised the largest sale of Demidoff treasures at his public sale at Villa di San Donato in March,1880.
However, what is little known is that Paul Pavlovitch was not pleased with some of the prices commanded for his collection of Old Master Dutch and Flemish paintings. His agent was instructed to ‘buy-in’, so to bid, on around thirty paintings that would remain in the collection of Paul Pavlovitch. Paul would wait for other opportunities to maximise the value of these paintings.
Unfortunately, with Paul’s premature passing in 1885, aged only forty-five, these paintings would remain in the ‘Demidoff Gallery’ at Villa Demidoff in Pratolino, Italy. Elena Petrovna, on Paul’s passing, had moved to Kyiv, and later Odessa, and would never to return to Villa Demidoff. This meant that these paintings, with some counting amongst the masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt, van Ostade, Ruisdael, and Hobbema, were at risk of damage or theft.
To organise the sale of these paintings, Elena engaged the services of the eminent Paris-based Art Dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel. Both Paul Pavlovitch and his uncle, Anatole Nikolaievitch, had worked closely, and over decades, with Durand-Ruel. Since Elena Petrovna was in Kyiv she needed to grant ‘power-of-attorney’ to Anatole Jaunez-Sponville, to contract the sale as the seller, so on her behalf with Durand-Ruel. It is the name of Jaunez-Sponville that appears on the Durand-Ruel sale records in Paris. Anatole was the son of Octave Jaunez-Sponville, who had been a long-standing confidant and close friend of Anatole Nikolaievitch and spanning decades.
The Villa di San Donato sale of March, 1880 attracted strong interest and especially from across the Atlantic. For example, the Bostonian, Stanton Blake (1837-1889), acquired ten Dutch Old Master pictures at the sale that would eventually be displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Also interested in the Demidoff collection were the civic leaders of Chicago, led by Charles L. Hutchinson and Martin Ryerson. These gentlemen were keen to place Chicago, the country’s ‘second city’, on the ‘cultural map’. To do so, they would need to populate the newly constructed Art Institute of Chicago, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, with a world-class collection of art. For the collectors in the United States, this meant securing masterpieces of the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ and from a European collection. Hutchinson and Ryerson also were keen to build their own, private collection of paintings to hang in their stately mansions.
On a trip to Europe in March, 1889, Hutchinson and Ryerson met with Durand-Ruel who advised them that the Demdioff collection was available for purchase. Isaac R. Diller (1819-1891), the US Ambassador to Florence, was engaged to help secure access for Hutchinson and William French (1843–1914), the Art Institute’s first director, to view the Demidoff Gallery at Villa Demidoff. By April, 1890, Diller and Hutchinson were given approval by Princess Elena to view the Demidoff collection. Hutchinson and French journeyed from Rome to Florence, accompanied by Durand- Ruel, to view the paintings on the agreed date of 18 April 1890. Hutchinson took careful notes citing highlights in his diary of nineteen of the pictures. His diary can be found today at the archives of the Art Institute.
Durand-Ruel made the case to Hutchinson and Ryerson that his plan was to bring the paintings to Paris for public sale. Hutchinson and Ryerson understood that if they were to keep the collection intact and ‘off the market’, they would need to act fast and close a private sale. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune newspaper, that appeared on his return to Chicago on 3 July 1890, Hutchinson states that “I cabled the situation to Mr. Field, Mr. Armour, Mr, Kent, and a few others. I asked them to buy the pictures and to hold them until such time as the Art Institute was able to buy them or until generous men could be found to donate them. We secured 13 paintings for $200,000 US dollars…”. However, in this interview Hutchinson was understating both the number of pictures bought that pertained to the Demidoff collection as well as the purchase price. This is made clear on a review of the two Durand-Ruel sale invoices plus separate correspondence on additional pictures sold.
With the Demidoff Collection now safely taken ‘off the market’, Hutchinson and Ryerson were keen to build their private collections so, most likely, joined Durand-Ruel at the M.G. Rothan Sale of 29 May 1890 and at the M.E. May Sale of 4 June 1890. Durand-Ruel invoiced Charles Hutchinson on behalf of the Art Institute for the entire series of purchases made by Hutchinson and Ryerson including their private purchases. Each invoice was marked, ‘From the Demidoff Collection painted previous to 1700 and not subject to Custom house duties’. This was false on three counts: The invoices were for pictures also purchased at the Rothan and May sales, together with other private acquisitions. Some of the pictures were made after 1700. Lastly, around one-half of the pictures were destined for the private collections of Hutchinson and Ryerson in place of public display. However, what this billing presentation did accomplish was the avoidance of costly additional US tariff charges of 30%. The reason was that exempt from import duties were pictures destined for ‘societies and institutions devoted to the arts’.
On 18 July 1890, Durand-Ruel posted a letter to Charles Hutchinson advising that “the princess (Demidoff) has sent us all her remaing pictures”. These numbered ten but with three already sold to Rodolphe Kann, an important French collector. Hutchinson would take only two of these remaining pictures for the Art Institute. However, what is interesting is that Elena Petrovna did not send all of her remaining pictures. She retained, amongst possibly others, Johann Vermeer’s, ‘Officer and the Laughing Girl’. This painting would be sold in 1891 by Elena Petrovna to Samuel S. Joseph of London. It may be that she was not pleased with the delay in receiving monies owed from Hutchinson or felt that she could secure higher value for this masterpiece working with some other art dealer or selling the picture directly. This private sale of the Vermeer does merit further study.
Charles Hutchinson did struggle in finding financial backers for the Demidoff acquisition of paintings amongst the civic leaders in Chicago. Durand-Ruel needed to write to Hutchinson on 18 July 1890 to say, “We got yesterday 200,000 (french francs) from you… and your telegram announcing balance (payable?) in one day”. However, on 29 July 1890, Durand-Ruel needed to write again to explain that “(we) received letters of 15th and 16th enclosing drafts of 30,000 and 15,000.. which is not in accordance with our accounts, since the second affair with princess Demidoff amounts to 231,000, while your cable order was only of 200,000”.
These challenges are not surprising given that the Art Institute was ‘new’, so with limited financial resources, that dwarfed their ambitions to rank ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ amongst the three other leading US museums located in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. In the end, these financial challenges persisted more than fifteen years after the original acquisition in 1890. By June, 1906, there were only five other civic leaders, besides Hutchinson and Ryerson, who stepped forward with monies to purchase the individual pictures at their original cost and to then ‘gift’ them to the Art Institute. In 1894, the Art Institute was forced to issue important and expensive debt in the amount of $127,000, with a ten year term, in order to clear monies owed to the original buyers, Hutchinson, Ryerson, and Field. This debt would be equivalent today to $4.4 million. This debt would continue to ‘roll-over’, so remain outstanding, late into 1906 and possibly beyond.
With the principle owners paid by 1894, twelve of the fifteen Demidoff pictures destined for the Art Institute, at long last, became the outright property of the Art Institute so could be properly displayed. The three others would need to wait until they became fully financed that, in some cases, would take decades.
In terms of the pictures with Demidoff provenance, Elena Petrovna and Durand-Ruel in 1890 offered to sale for Chicago twenty-eight pictures. The number with Demidoff provenance that actually shipped to Chicago numbered twenty with ten appearing on Invoice #1, eight on Invoice #2, and two on the separate correspondence dating to 18 July 1890. The number pertaining to the Rothan Sale numbered six, while there was only painting from the M. Ernest May sale. Hutchinson and Ryerson further acquired another five paintings for their own private collection but from sources unrelated to Durand-Ruel.
In the 1890 Art Institute of Chicago Catalogue, it shows only thirteen paintings displayed with Demidoff provenance. The other seven featured in the private collections of the two principle buyers, Charles Hutchinson and Martin Ryerson. As the difficult financial arrangements became resolved, more and more of these paintings began to appear on display at the Art Institute. However, this would take decades and with certain pictures never appearing. The pictures acquired at the Rothan and M.E. May sales also would come to be displayed at the Art Institute.
I do encourage the reader, who finds themselves in the city of Chicago, to visit the Art Institute of Chicago where they can view many of these masterpieces from the Demidoff collection that originally formed this art museum’s core Old Master collection.
By Alexandre Tissot Demidoff
The Abamelek-Lazarev Palace in Saint Petersburg
By EDF Academic Member in Spain, Antoinio Perez Caballero
House in Povarskaya Street
Статья Екатерины Тихой-Тищенко, члена Европейского Демидовского Фонда в России
The Demidoff family has many ties and connections with important locations in and around Moscow, among them, the magnificent House in Povarskaya Street, a graded building, and one of the most beautiful aristocratic houses of Moscow. The house belonged to the family of their close relatives, Count Alexey Vasilievich Olsoufieff (1831—1915) and his wife, Countess Alexandra Andreevna (1846—1929, née Miklashevsky).
Our interior design firm, E.S.S.E. Design & Decoration (Ekaterina Tihaya-Tischenko and Svetlana Shervarli), was honoured by the invitation to decorate the interiors of the House in Povarskaya Street and to bring it back to its glory in its new role as a restaurant and private members club.
The Demidoffs are related to the Counts Olsoufieff, the last owners of the House in Povarskaya, but prior the Russian Revolution, by two lineages. The two daughters of Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, 2nd Prince of San Donato, Maria and Elena, were sisters-in-law of the two sons of the Counts Olsoufieff through their respective marriages. Maria was married to Prince Semyon Semyonovich Abamelek-Lazareff (1857—1916), whose sister, Elizaveta (1866—1934), was wife of the elder son, Andrey Alexeevich Olsoufieff (1870—1933). And Elena was married to Count Alexandre Pavlovich Shouvaloff (1881—1935), whose sister Olga (1882—1939), was wife of the younger son, Vasiliy Alexeevich Olsoufieff (1872—1924).
The House in Povarskaya was bought by Countess Alexandra Andreevna Olsoufieff in 1898, which marked the relocation of her family from St Petersburg to Moscow following her new role as the ‘Mistress of the Court’ to the Court of Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna, wife of Governor-General of Moscow, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (uncle of Tsar Nicholas II). This was a role that she dutifully served, up to the dissolution of the Court in 1909, when Elizaveta Feodorovna founded the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary and became its abbess.
The House in Povarskaya was built in 1887 for Prince Boris Vladimirovich Światopełk-Czetwertyński, of the ancient Polish-Russian family that traces its roots back to Rurik, and for his wife Princess Vera Aleksandrovna (née Kazakoff) and her two teenage daughters Anastasiya and Sofiya Arapoff from her first marriage (Anastasiya later married Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim).
The architect of the House, Pyotr Samoylovich Boytsov (1849 – after 1918), was very fashionable among the Russian aristocracy and millionaires of the time and especially in Moscow. The Embassy of Italy in Moscow is now located in the magnificent house built by Boytsov for a manufacturer and millionaire, Sergey Berg. The residence of the French Ambassador to Russia is located in the house formerly belonging to a textile manufacturer, Nikolay Igumnov, and includes Russian and Louis XV-XVI Revival interiors designed by Boytsov. And one of the estates, a châteauesque Meyendorff Castle, built by Boytsov near Moscow for Nadezhda Alexandrovna Kazakoff, sister of Princess Vera Aleksandrovna Światopełk-Czetwertyński, is now a country residence of the President of Russia that is used today for formal receptions.
Boytsov designed a French Renaissance Revival façade for the House of the Światopełk-Czetwertyńskis to compliment the fashionable aristocratic Povarskaya Street, while inside he recreated a strikingly different, mysterious atmosphere of Tudor England with wood panelings, grand fireplaces, heraldic lions and ‘coats of arms’. The revival style, that was popular among aristocrats to underline their ancient roots, was in sharp contrast to the Art Nouveau architecture that was fashionable among the rising “New Money.” The interiors designed and styled by Boytsov with revival furniture, beautiful lanterns, luxurious fabrics and family portraits can be seen in the two photos surviving from the time.
After their mother, Princess Vera Aleksandrovna Światopełk-Czetwertyński, died suddenly in 1890 and their stepfather, Prince Boris, left Russia never to return, in 1898, the two Arapoff sisters sold the House in Povarskaya to Countess Alexandra Andreevna Olsoufieff.
The House was meant to correspond to the high position of its new owners who were close to the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess. It was also to be a ‘cozy’ home for the large Olsoufieff family that included children, grandchildren, in-laws, relatives, and numerous friends. The younger son of Countess Alexandra Andreevna, colonel Vassily Alexeevich Olsoufieff, lived with his parents before and after his marriage to Countess Olga Pavlovna Shouvaloff. This means that his sister-in-law, Elena Pavlovna Demidoff-Shouvaloff, was a frequent visitor and guest at Povarskaya.
The Olsoufieffs made some alterations to the interiors of the House bringing in new mahogany, walnut and Karelian birch furniture, antiques, family portraits, and Italian Renaissance drawings and paintings which they adored and collected. Two photos, presumably dating to the 1900s, show precious 16-17th century tapestries that had been installed. One of them, in the large Oak Hall over the stairs, featured the scene of ‘The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ and covered the original wall mural. The other tapestry, in the adjacent Sitting-Room, featured ‘Sophonisba Kneels before Masinissa, King of Numidia.’ Antique Chinese porcelain vases and decorative silver plates, Oriental rugs, marble sculptures and a large family library, fresh flowers, palm trees in pots, and even an antique trunk, all created an atmosphere of a home where lived those who could not live without art, heritage, and beauty.
Having spent their childhood surrounded by the precious objects in this house, it is no wonder that all four daughters of Count Vassily Alexeevich Olsoufieff and Olga Pavlovna Shouvaloff-Olsoufieff chose the arts or literature as their professional career and with outstanding achievements in due course. On the other hand, their only son, Alexey, followed the path of all the men in the Olsoufieff family, and enlisted in military service although as an exile in Italy. Unfortunately, he tragically died in 1941 when the Italian ship, where he served, was attacked by the British armed forces at the Cape Bon near Tunisia. He handed his own safety vest to a fellow sailor and then tried to swim alone but never reached the shore.
The fate of the tapestries, furniture and paintings of the House in Povarskaya after the Russian Revolution is unknown. The house was nationalised and inhabited by the poor. It was later transformed into separate apartments for government employees (luckily leaving the central halls intact). Finally in 1932 it was handed over to the ‘Union of Writers of the USSR’ at the request of Maxim Gorky. From this point on the House in Povarskaya has been known until today by the abbreviation ‘CDL’, The Central House of Writers (Центральный дом литераторов).
In Soviet times, there was a restaurant at the CDL where only members of the Union of Writers were allowed, infusing it with an atmosphere of exclusivity and thus making it utterly desirable. It was frequented by Boris Pasternak, Sergey Mikhalkov, Andrey Voznesensky, Evgeny Evtushenko, Bella Akhmadulina among many other famous Russian writers and poets.
In post-Soviet times, the CDL Restaurant, now occupying the entire House, became one of the most fashionable restaurants in Moscow. Yet, its interiors underwent a number of redecorations that did not correspond fully to its historic and architectural heritage (the walls were even covered by plastic panelings at one point). Our design firm, E.S.S.E. Design & Decoration, was honoured by the invitation to recreate here the atmosphere of an aristocratic Belle Epoque salon in Moscow. We stripped the walls of the modern plastic decorations and invited a restoration firm to take care of the original wood panelings. The layers of Soviet-time ‘gloss lacquer’ were removed and the wood then covered with natural shellack so following exactly the same technology employed by the architect Boytsov in 1887.
In regards to décor, we tried to follow the photos of the interiors taken before the revolution. We covered the walls with Revival Style wallpaper, some of them with a textile effect, and brought in beautiful velvets and weave fabrics to dress the windows and to cover the soft furnishings. The carefully selected antique ‘Revival accents’, coming from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, complimented the restaurant chairs, sofas and tables that were all produced in oak by a local Russian manufacturer in accordance with our design. Antique Persian rugs, Oriental vases and bespoke floral arrangements are set beside ‘wall sconces’ and table lamps produced by St Petersburg bronze craftsmen according to historic designs pertaining to Russian palaces. We decided to keep the existing Soviet Neoclassical chandeliers in the halls to represent this historic layer of the building. We also took pains to provide the interiors with adequate lighting, as the House was notorious for its ‘duskiness’, even before the revolution. To address this challenge, we invited a specialised lighting company to install technical lights, that are barely visible on the ceiling, but do cast beautiful glow onto the tables, prominent architectural features, and the antique décor accents.
We intended to fill the House with personal memories of its last owners, the Olsoufieffs. So in the former Bedroom of Count Alexey Vasilievich Olsoufieff (now a private dining room), we covered one wall with a series of prints depicting mid-19th century Russian military uniforms. This would correspond to the time when the Count served in the army. The other wall is covered by prints of the Crimean War in which he took part. And finally, the other wall is dressed with prints of engravings that date back to the 16-18th century all depicting various libraries and bookshelves so in the memory of the Count’s true passion for philology. He was an avid reader and translated the poems of Ancient Roman poets from Latin into Russian.
All this is complimented by 19th century European paintings all around the House borrowed from the art gallery, Nashe Naslediye, in the former Dining Room and Buffet Room. This art gallery even managed to procure several antique portraits of Russian Emperors and Empresses that now adorn the walls of the House, a tribute that was customary in aristocratic Russia.
Probably the most important mission that we completed was setting up a museum in one of the halls dedicated to the history of the House in Povarskaya and the families of the Światopełk-Czetwertyńskis and the Olsoufieffs. We were extremely lucky to become acquainted with the descendants of the Olsoufieff family, living all around the world, who generously shared with us precious family photos and documents that we then exhibited. We were also greatly assisted by a team of art historians and an archivist who procured the historic plans of the building, which are also on display, among other very useful data.
We express our gratitude to Olga Rozet, interior designer, art historian, and artist, who trained us at the International Design School in Moscow, whom we invited to take part in the project. She helped a great deal by openly sharing with us her vast knowledge and experience in working with colour and developing layouts.
We certainly express our gratitude to the owners of the CDL Restaurant and The Moscow Capital Club, who value the heritage of the House and who have secured the realisation of this important project that, as we hope, will become part of Moscow history. The CDL Restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide 2022 and is kept open to the general public and for excursions. The Moscow Capital Club, occupying the most luxurious upstairs rooms, is member of the International Associate Clubs (IAC) and became the only private club in Russia elected as member of Platinum Clubs® of the World.
Author of the article: Ekaterina Tihaya-Tischenko, E.S.S.E. Design & Decoration
Sources of images:
Aurora Demidova's Legacy in Finland
Статья профессора Jukka Aminoff FRSA (Финляндия)
Imperial Court and Marriage
Grand Duchy of Finland
Träskända Manor and the Imperial Visit
Aurora Pavlovna Demidoff, Princess of San Donato (1873-1904)
Статья Alexandre Tissot Demidoff, прямого потомка рода Демидовых
19 November 2022
The Demidovs in Saint Petersburg
Статья Antonio Perez Caballero, члена Европейского Демидовского Фонда в Испании
Now the celebrated industrialist, owner and founder of many iron mining manufactures and factories in the Ural Mountains had his own stone residence in Saint Petersburg. After his death, the heirs divided the plot: the eldest son, Evdokim Nikitich (1713-1782), received the house on the Neva with 17 bed chambers, and his brother, Nikita (1728-1804), who, in 1769, sold it to Evdokim, received the house on Galernaya with ten bed chambers.
From the heirs of Nikita Nikitich (1728-1804), the corner mansion in 1809 passed by purchase deed to the life physician Yakov Vasilyevich Willie (1765 – 1854), director of the Military Medical Department. In the late 1820s, Willie took care of the external and internal reconstruction of the building in the Empire style. From that time, a hall with pilasters and a vaulted room have been preserved in the interior. Willie rented apartments in the outbuildings. In one of them, in February 1835, the head physician Alexander Dmitrievich Blank had a daughter, Maria, the future mother of Lenin, on the second floor of the western wing. She was baptized at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, as her father converted from Judaism to Orthodoxy in order to enter the Medico-Surgical Academy. Fate wanted that in 1876 after several additional owners, another celebrated, Imperial Physician to Alexander II and Alexander III, lived in the Galernaya street building: Sergey Petrovich Botkin, whose son Evgeniy Sergeevich, also a physician to the last Tsar Nicholas II, died along the rest of the Imperial Family and servants in Ekaterinburg in July 1918.
ДАР ГОСПОДИНА ПЕРЕСА КАБАЛЬЕРО
Испанец Антонио Перес Кабальеро – многолетний друг нашего музея – передал в дар фрагменты подлинных предметов и исторической отделки интерьеров, а также 205 открыток, фотографий и негативов, посвященных императорской семье и пригородным дворцам Санкт-Петербурга. Эти раритеты меценат приобретал на аукционах и собирал на протяжении долгого времени, а также хранил в личном архиве. Предметы доставлены в Царское Село при поддержке российских дипломатов. На специальном приеме в Посольстве России в Испании (Мадрид) дарителю вручили почетный диплом за содействие культурному сотрудничеству между нашими странами.
– Антонио Перес Кабальеро увлечен изучением истории, особенно его интересует жизнь и судьба Николая II и его семьи. Даритель внимательно следит за музейными событиями и реставрацией Александровского дворца, – говорит заместитель директора по научной работе ГМЗ «Царское Село» Ираида Ботт.
Открытки, выполненные в начале XX века, дополнят уже существующую в музее коллекцию почтовых карточек.
Напомним, что в 2013 году Антонио Перес Кабальеро предоставил музею право на электронные копии трех десятков фотографий периода Великой Отечественной войны. Сейчас он передал эти снимки и негативы других сюжетов в музей.
Автором всех снимков был дед господина Переса Кабальеро, Антонио Перес Хуарес, служивший в сороковые годы прошлого века в испанской Голубой дивизии. Внук хранил не только альбом с фотографиями деда, но и негативы этих снимков. На них – пригороды Ленинграда: Пушкин, Петергоф, Гатчина, Ропша. Снимки сделаны в 1943 году.
– Любительские снимки оккупированного города Пушкин представляют для нас особую ценность. На них – фасады Екатерининского дворца, солдаты и офицеры в дворцовых залах и парковых павильонах, часть интерьера дворцовой церкви, Большой зал, уже утративший треть перекрытия с плафоном. Эти фотографии, с одной стороны, – документальные свидетельства разрушений царскосельских дворцов и парков, но в то же время – подвига музейщиков и ленинградских реставраторов, возродивших красоту дворцово-паркового ансамбля, – объясняет хранитель фотонегатеки ГМЗ «Царское Село» Виктория Плауде.
Подаренные господином Пересом Кабальеро предметы будут храниться в фондах музея и участвовать во временных выставках.
Информация с официального сайта Царского села https://www.tzar.ru/news/1670538124.
FROM SPAIN WITH LOVE
Mr Antonio Pérez Caballero, a long-time friend of our Museum from Spain and now a member of our Friends Society, made a generous donation of original interior objects and decorative fragments from our palaces, as well as 205 iconographic artefacts including postcards of Russia’s last imperial family and wartime photographs and film negatives of the suburban palaces of St Petersburg.
The Spanish philanthropist has been collecting artefacts related to Tsarskoe Selo for a long time. The donated items either came from his private archive or had been obtained from antiquity dealers and auctions. The items were delivered to Tsarskoe Selo thanks to the diplomatic support of the Russian Embassy in Madrid, where Mr Pérez Caballero had a lunch in his honour and was rewarded an honorary diploma for contributing to cultural cooperation between our countries.
According to Dr Iraida K. Bott, Tsarskoe Selo deputy director for research and education, “as an avid history researcher especially interested in the life and fate of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, Mr Pérez Caballero closely follows the Museum’s events and the restoration of the Alexander Palace.”
The donated postcards of the early 20th century are a great addition to our postcard collection.
Back in 2013, Mr Pérez Caballero already granted us the right to use the digital copies of 30 wartime photographs of Leningrad suburbs taken in 1943 by his grandfather, Antonio Pérez Juarez, who served in the Spanish Volunteer Division (a.k.a. the Blue Division). Those and other photographs of Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Peterhof, Gatchina and Ropsha, as well as their film negatives, came in the donation together with several photographs from a German war archive.
As Ms Victoria Plaude, Tsarskoe Selo photographs and negatives collection curator explains, “The photos of Pushkin town during the Nazi occupation are of great value to the Museum. They show the façades of the Catherine Palace, the occupiers in the palace halls and park pavilions, a part of the Palace Chapel’s interior, and the palace’s Great Hall already devoid of one third of its ceiling together with painting. These photographs are documentary evidence of both the destruction of Tsarskoe Selo and the feats of its museum workers and restorers who revived the beauty of the palace-and-park ensemble.”
The artefacts donated by Mr Pérez Caballero have enriched the Museum’s reserve collection and will be displayed at our future exhibitions.
Tsarskoe Selo State Museum official website – https://www.tzar.ru/en/news/1671649920.