Vorontsov spent his youth in England and fought against the French at Friedland and Borodino. He became governor general of Novorossia (which then included the Southern Ukraine, the Northern shores of the Black Sea, and the Crimea), and lieutenant of Bessarabia. Count Vorontsov chose Odessa as the site of his official residence and commissioned Edward Blore to design the famous Alupka Palace near Yalta, in a style that combined Scottish and English gothic with Moorish architecture. In a biting epigram, Pushkin mocked him 'One half Milord, one half in trade, One half a sage, one half a dunce, One half a crook, but here for once There's every hope he'll make the grade.' and was expelled from Odessa after the scandal of his affair with Countess Vorontsov.
Daffinger painted a watercolour portrait of Vorontsov on 24 September 1840 in Vienna for the Album of Princess Metternich, illustrated in G. Kugler, Staatskanzler Metternich und seine Gäste, Graz, 1991, pl. 89. For another portrait of the same sitter by Karl von Hampeln, see Alexander Pushkin and His Time in the Fine Arts of the First Half of the 19th Century, Leningrad, 1985, fig. 89.