Admiral Count Grigorii Grigorievich Kushelev directed the Russian fleet during the reign of Paul I. He made significant efforts to improve the navy and collected marine charts. Under his supervision a new Navy charter was created and published in 1797. In 1800 Kushelev was appointed Chief Director of the Department of Water Communications and Roads. After Alexander I’s accession to the throne, Kushelev was removed from the administration and returned to his estate in Pskov, rarely visiting St Petersburg. He possessed large landholdings, obtained during the reign of Paul I. Kushelev’s wealth increased after his second marriage to Countess Liubov Il'inichna Bezborodko (1783-1809).
He had one daughter, Aleksandra, from his first marriage, who married Prince Aleksei Aleksandrovich Lobanov-Rostovskii, and two sons, Aleksander and Gregorii from his second. After the early death of his second wife, Count Kushelev placed his sons in the care of his wife’s sister, Princess Cleopatra Il'inichna Lobanov-Rostovskaia. He is depicted in the mantle of the Order of St Andrew which he received in February 1799. On the left is a bust of Emperor Paul I. On the wall is a picture of his Krasnopolets estate in the Pskov province. Judging by the age of his sons, one can suggest that the portrait was executed after the death of his wife Kusheleva, i.e. after 1809. In the Novgorod State United Museum-Reserve there is another example of this portrait, incorrectly dated 1801.
We are grateful to Dr Ludmila Markina, Director of the 18th and 19th century paintings department at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, for providing this note.