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Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov (1817-1898)
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Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov (1817-1898)

Emperor Alexander II and Kaiser Wilhelm I in a carriage with a view of the Peter-Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg

Details
Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov (1817-1898)
Emperor Alexander II and Kaiser Wilhelm I in a carriage with a view of the Peter-Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg
signed in Cyrillic and dated 'N.Sverchkov/1873' (lower left)
oil on canvas
38 5/8 x 59¼ in. (98 x 150.5 cm.)
Provenance
with Wartski, London.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis

Lot Essay

Nikolai Egorovich Sverchkov, the celebrated equestrian artist, showed remarkable talent at an early age. Encouraged by his father, who was an equerry at the Imperial Court stables, Sverchkov's observational skills developed alongside his passion for horses. Largely self-taught, Sverchkov attended the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg in the 1840s and became a professor in 1855. His instinctive grasp of equine anatomy led to important commissions from leading studs, including the Khrenovskii and Chesmenskii stables. In the 1860s, Sverchkov exhibited his work in Paris, London and Brussels.
Following his success abroad, Sverchkov received an imperial commission to complete a series of works on historical themes, including: Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich's inspection of the troops in 1664 (1866); Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich with boyars hawking near Moscow (1873); and The pilgrimmage of Ivan the Terrible (1878) now in The Armoury, Moscow. The present picture, dated 1873, was executed during this period and combines historical gravitas with Sverchkov's characteristic ability to capture horses in motion.
Emperor Alexander II and Kaiser Wilhelm I in a carriage with a view of the Peter-Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg signifies a political entente between two countries. The warmth of relations between uncle and nephew and, by implication, their Empires is reflected by the uniforms worn by the Emperors. Alexander II wears the German uniform of the 6th Brandenburg Cuirassiers regiment and Wilhelm I the Russian uniform of the 5th Kaluga Infantry regiment, each Emperor being the honorary chief of each regiment. Both wear the Russian Order of St. George and the German Order Pour le Merite.
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