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  • Portrait of Princess Yelizaveta Shakhovskaya

    Artist:
    Mosnier, Jean Laurent. 1746-1808
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    129x97 cm

Mosnier, Jean Laurent. 1746-1808

Portrait of Princess Yelizaveta Shakhovskaya

Russia, 1806

Yelizaveta Borisovna Shakhovskaya (1775–1796) was the only daughter of Prince Boris Grigoryevich Shakhovskoi and Varvara Alexandrovna, née Stroganova. Yelizaveta lived abroad with her mother for a long time and in Paris she wed Louis Marie Eugène (1757–1795), a prince of the Belgian d’Arenberg family. Having learnt that the Prince had participated in the Batavian Revolution, Catherine II was strongly opposed to their union. Yelizaveta’s marriage was dissolved by the Synod in 1794 and d’Arenberg was banned from entering Russia. Returning to St Petersburg in 1795, Yelizaveta became close to a man who shared her surname – Prince Piotr Feodorovich Shakhovskoi (1773–1841). Against her mother’s wishes, she went off to his village near Viazma and got married there. A year later she returned to the capital with her husband and supposedly fell for an officer of the Guards. Shakhovskoi discovered their love letters and wanted to take her back to the country. Legend has it that the Princess killed herself out of fear of public disgrace. “I shall not describe the cause of Princess Yelizaveta Borisovna’s sad demise,” Count Komarovsky wrote in his memoirs, “but shall say only that everyone knew that she had taken poison.” She left only a daughter, Varvara, who married Count Pavel Andreyevich Shuvalov. In 1794, during the time when Yelizaveta Borisovna was married to d’Arenberg, Augustin Ritt painted a miniature portrait of her that is now in the Hermitage. After her death, the artist produced two variants of that portrait, one of which is now in the Louvre and the other in the Hermitage. It was these miniatures that served as the basis for the portrait of Shakhovskaya that Mosnier painted in 1806.

Title:

Portrait of Princess Yelizaveta Shakhovskaya

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

129x97 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1946; transferred from the Museum of Ethnography of the Peoples of the USSR; formerly in the Shuvalovs' collection

Inventory Number:

ЭРЖ-1134

Category:

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