Alexander Orlovsky (1777-1832)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 1… Read more Property of a Distinguished American Collector 
Alexander Orlovsky (1777-1832)

Giacomo Quarenghi wearing the Order of the Knights of Malta and playing the flute

Details
Alexander Orlovsky (1777-1832)
Giacomo Quarenghi wearing the Order of the Knights of Malta and playing the flute
pencil and watercolour on paper
9 x 8 in. (22.9 x 20.3 cm.) approximately
With signed authentication by Alexandre Benois: 'Caricature du peintre russo-polonais Alexandre Orlovsky sur le célèbre architecte italien à la cour de Catherine II et d'Alexandre I Giacomo Quarenghi (1744-1817) qui fut souvent l'objet de la verve satyrique d'Orlovsky A. Benois'
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.

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Alexis de Tiesenhausen
Alexis de Tiesenhausen

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Lot Essay

Take your swift pencil,
Draw at night, Orlovsky and mock!

Alexander Pushkin, Ruslan and Ludmila

Battle scene painter, engraver, lithographer and caricaturist, Alexander Osipovich Orlovsky was born in Warsaw in 1777. His talents were discovered by Prince Adam Szartorysky who sent him to the Warsaw Art School to be trained under the painter Jean-Pierre Norblin de la Gourdaine. As a young man, he travelled extensively and took part in the Polish liberation movement and uprising of 1794. He moved to Russia in 1802 where he settled in St Petersburg as a protegé of Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich and served as court artist. In 1809, he received the title of Academician of Battle Painting which led to his appointment to the General Staff.
The subject of this watercolour, Giacomo Quarenghi (1744-1817), was born in Italy and was appointed court architect by Catherine the Great. His celebrated designs included the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo and the Smolny Institute. After Catherine's successor, Emperor Paul, was elected Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, Quarenghi joined the order and served as their official architect.

With his distinctive bulbous nose, Quarenghi was often the subject of caricatures by his friend Orlovsky, other examples of which can be found in the collections of the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg and the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.
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