In November-December 1934, Somov completed four portraits in different mediums of the character Cecile de Volanges, the heroine of Choderlos de Laclos's novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses'. His model was Aleksandra Levchenko. The work was commissioned by M. Braikevich.
Shura [Levchenko] poses superbly...She is charming with her high hairstyle and garland...
Letter dated 9 November 1934, p. 423
This morning I finished Cecile Volanges, made a few retouches, and inscribed on the letter in her hand: Cec. de V.
Letter dated 19 December 1934, p. 423
One of the aforementioned portraits (sanguine and watercolour on board, 40.9 x 29.5 cm.) is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see L. Salmina-Haskell, Russian paintings and drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1989, p. 93, no. 140. Another version was sold at Christie's, London, 13 June 2007, lot 63.