Alexander Orlovsky preferred drawing to oil painting and his deft artistry is evident in A veteran of the Imperial Russian Army. This drawing is a fine example of his mastery in depicting military attire and insignia, a skill that was stressed by his patron the Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, son of Emperor Paul I. The number of chevrons indicates this veteran's years of service and brings us back to 1794, the year of the Polish Insurrection.
Orlovsky's superlative artistry was not overlooked by celebrated authors of the time. Alexander Pushkin, Adam Mickiewicz and Pyotr Vyazemsky all praised him in their writing - Pushkin in Ruslan and Ludmila, Mickiewicz in Pan Tadeusz and Vyazemsky in a poetic eulogy following the artist's death.