Author Topic: Alexander III - photo tour  (Read 163736 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Aglaya

  • Guest
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #225 on: June 11, 2011, 03:25:41 AM »
Are there any photos of AIII with GD Olga Alexandrovna?  Just her?  Or at least, just her and Mikhail?

 Aleksander with Olga and Misha


and one more


« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 03:37:39 AM by Olgasha »

Offline Vecchiolarry

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 759
    • View Profile
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #226 on: June 11, 2011, 08:19:26 AM »
Hi,

What a wonderful picture of Olga and her father!!
Both are happy and clearly enjoying the moment and each other.

Larry

Aglaya

  • Guest
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #227 on: July 10, 2011, 04:07:46 AM »
Alexander III in Finland


Joseph_Kaiser

  • Guest
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #228 on: February 12, 2012, 12:12:15 PM »
[]
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 12:14:00 PM by Chris_H »

Joseph_Kaiser

  • Guest
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #229 on: February 12, 2012, 12:49:58 PM »
from jacques Ferrand's Romanoff un album de famille

Offline Ally Kumari

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3096
    • View Profile
    • Imperial Russia
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #230 on: April 03, 2013, 03:50:54 AM »

HistoricJewels

  • Guest
A New Side to Alexander III
« Reply #231 on: December 18, 2013, 09:48:35 PM »
Hi all, I'm posting to this topic because of the earlier knowledgeable contributors on pictures of Alexander III.
Hopefully many of you are still around and pick up on this and help me with advice on the primary source(s) of the cameo image below of Tsarevich Alexander.
If Admin/Moderators think I'm in the wrong place with this query, please advise.
I have also posted to the 'Imperial Family Jewels" thread to discuss this as a jewellery item here:
http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=567.msg531164#new

So my questions to the forum relate to the existence of left side profiles of Tsarevich Alexander in his late teens / early 20's.
I'm talking about a full left profile like the cameo image below.
I've been unable to find one, does anyone know of such an image and are to able to show one?
I'm also interested in comments on my analysis / identification process below. This is a work in progress, so may spread over a couple of posts.

So first the image, then some context, then I'll start describing the identification process:



The future Tsar Alexander III was born 10 March 1845, with the title Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich. He became Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich on the sudden death of his older brother Nicholas on 24 April 1865. On his deathbed Nicholas expressed the wish that Alexander marry Nicholas' fiancé, Princess Dagmar of Denmark.
 
Dagmar accepted Alexander's proposal and they married 9 November 1866 in the Imperial Chapel of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Dagmar converted to Orthodox Christianity and took the name Maria Feodorovna.
 
The following year Tsarevich Alexander travelled with his father Tsar Alexander II to the Paris International Exposition of 1867 (Exposition Universelle d'Art et d'Industrie), at the invitation of Napoleon III.
 
Tsarevich Alexander was in the carriage with Alexander II and Napoleon III on 6 June 1867 when an assassination attempt on the Tsar occurred after a military review at Longchamp. The Tsarevitch also attended the famous "Three Emperors Dinner" at Café Anglais in Paris on 7 June 1867, the three emperors present being Emperor Napoleon III, Tsar Alexander II, and King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
 
This cameo portrait of Tsarevitch Alexander was carved by Paul Lebas around 1866-1867. It was probably intended for the Paris Exposition, in hope of attracting the attention of the Russian Royal visitors.
 
Lebas was patronised by Napoleon III, having carved a cameo of Empress Eugenie in 1855. In 1865 Lebas also prepared the cameo of their son the Prince Imperial (now in The Met, NY). So there is also the possibility Napoleon III recommended Lebas to the Tsarevitch for a sitting in Paris, or that Napoleon III commissioned the cameo as gift to the Russian Royals. Given the timeframe, one has to wonder if this was a wedding portrait, and if there was a matching cameo of Maria Feodorovna.

Paul-Victor LEBAS was a prominent C19th cameo sculptor in Paris, at 19 Rue Guenegaud. He was active 1851-1876.
 
Lebas exhibited at the Paris Salons and worked with the jewellers Caillot & Peck, specialists in cameo settings.
 
Around 1851 Lebas carved the famous cameo of the young Queen Victoria for Felix Dafrique. This cameo was based on the portrait by Thomas Sully, painted in 1838 when Queen Victoria was 19 years old. The cameo is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
 
The image of the Tsarevich will be circa 1866, and may be based on photos or a portrait around the time of his wedding.
 
In his other works, such as the cameo of Queen Victoria, Lebas didn't slavishly follow an original portrait. He was known to reverse the original image, and his cameos have a tendency to idealise the subject, perhaps with a view to capture the essence of their personality in such a minute medium.
 
The two colour onyx cameo is scratch signed on the obverse "PL" for Paul Lebas. It is set in a fine 18ct gold mount with both brooch and pendant fixtures. The brooch pin and clasp are stamped with the 'eagle's head' French control marks for 18ct gold. Although it doesn't have their hallmark, the mount is almost certainly by Caillot & Peck.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Identification Process

When I acquired this piece recently and identified the date range of the artist Paul Lebas I began looking at pictures of prominent people in the date range 1850-1875.

Quite early I was struck by similarities to the young Tsar Nicholas II, but of course the dates were wrong. Then I looked at his father Alexander III.

Alexander III as Tsesarevich around the time of his wedding to Princess Dagmar (1866) had the right hairline and facial profile, although very soon after his hair rapidly receded and he put on a lot of weight.

Then I discovered Tsesarevich Alexander was in Paris in 1867 and could have been introduced to the cameo sculptor Paul Lebas by Napoleon III.

The problem was finding an appropriate image left profile of Tsesarevich Alexander 1866/67 to compare, I haven't found one yet.

Wikiipedia says Alexander had a A sebaceous cyst on the left side of his nose ... and he sat for photographs and portraits with the right side of his face most prominent. However I found several pictures of Tsesarevich Alexander showing his left side (but not in full profile) without any sign of the cyst.

I seems to me if you examine pictures of Tsesarevich Alexander's face in his late teens / Early 20's, the left and right sides are somewhat different. Later in life as his face blew up like a balloon that difference is less pronounced.

The identification problem was compounded by the fact that the cameo artist surely "idealised" his subject for artistic effect and to enhance the possibility of a sale.

This thread has been a fantastic source of images including the one I've used below by OAF (thank you OAF).
Note also the images of Tsesarevich Alexander wearing the same wing collar to the cameo in his marriage pictures.

Anyway the first identification method was to take a forward looking shot of the cameo. This gave me something to compare with forward facing pics. Here's the result:


One problem is the cameo is very "flat". So to achieve a valid comparison with the montage image in (3) above, I first flattened the left side (only) of his face as per images (2) and (4). I did this simply by cutting the left side face from image (1) and narrowing the image in Photoshop  to the same size as the left side cameo width as shown in image (3).

Hope that makes sense, and I did NO other Photoshop-ing to make the images match (beyond adjusting the lighting of the cameo).

I hope you look at images (2) & (3) above and see the same face looking out at you.

Here's a link to the side image of the cameo for reference purposes:
http://www.theholygrail.com/images/Cameo_side.jpg

I have found some other ways to compare the cameo with images of Alexander, and will post more in my next.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 10:21:13 PM by HistoricJewels »

HistoricJewels

  • Guest
Re: Another side to Alexander III
« Reply #232 on: December 27, 2013, 05:06:44 PM »
Hi All,

I realise I'm posting to a dead thread, however I'll complete the identification process posting and then might start a new thread with this same info.



Alexander III had a prominent brow and forehead, shown somewhat exaggerated in the colourised picture on the right.
This provided the first clue to the identification of the Lebas cameo portrait as Tsesarevich Alexander.
The cameo portrait has the same ridged brow and prominent forehead, shown aligned above by the red lines in the left and centre pictures above.

There are no known left profile pictures of Tsesarevich Alexander that allow a direct comparison with the cameo.
However while the white onyx layer of the cameo portrait is only about 4mm deep, it is so finely detailed that a forward facing photo of the cameo can be taken as below.
(Here's a link to that source side view of the cameo for reference purposes: http://www.theholygrail.com/images/Lebas-Cameo-TsarevichAlexander-side.jpg)



An extract from the forward facing photo of cameo on the right above is a near perfect fit to the circa 1864 photo of Alexander on the left.
In fact the fit is so good that it is highly likely this circa 1864 photograph was the primary source image used by Lebas to carve the cameo.

Alexander's hairline rapidly receded in his late teens to early 20's, and at this time he progressively gained weight and became more full in the face, as shown in the pictures below.
The facial features and hairline of the cameo portrait conform closely to the young Alexander of 1864-5.



Another identifying clue is the wing collar worn by Alexander in the cameo portrait.
As seen in the pictures above, the Tsesarevich favoured these collars.
In fact the 1866-7 photo with Maria Feodorovna (shown in full below) was probably another one of Lebas' source images.
Under high magnification it is possible to make out a stickpin in Alexander's tie, placed similarly to the one in the cameo portrait.



While there is no formal left profile picture of Tsesarevich Alexander to directly compare with the Lebas' cameo portrait,
there is the following right profile on Alexander and Maria's wedding medal, dated with their wedding date in 1866,
although it might have been modeled and released later than 1866 (medal cataloged as Diakov 740.3).



It is likely this medal was Lebas' third source when preparing the cameo of Tsesarevich Alexander.
The medal provides the shape of the face and head, and the size, shape and details of the ears, all of which which closely conform between the medal and cameo,
taking into account the fact the medal is probably at least 2 or 3 years later than the primary 1864 photographic source image.
 
Paul-Victor Lebas specialised in cameos of royalty looking at their best. No doubt this was a sound commercial strategy in such a rarefied market.
In his image of Queen Victoria carved in 1851, he looked back 13 years to the young Victoria.
He captured a flattering image of Victoria as a beautiful young queen, in a particular pose chosen to emphasise her most attractive features.
 
In his cameo portrait of Tsesarevich Alexander, Lebas has drawn on contemporary images to achieve a similarly flattering depiction of the Tsesarevich
as a young man, handsome, regal and reflective.
 
These are not descriptions usually associated with the young Alexander.
In his cameo portrait Paul-Victor Lebas has shown another side of the young man destined to become one of the most powerful people of his time,
Tsar Alexander III.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 05:31:00 PM by HistoricJewels »

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1075
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Another side to Alexander III
« Reply #233 on: December 27, 2013, 05:46:22 PM »
Fascinating!

In his cameo portrait of Tsesarevich Alexander, Lebas has drawn on contemporary images to achieve a similarly flattering depiction of the Tsesarevich
as a young man, handsome, regal and reflective.
No, in my opinion he has portrayed him as a pensive, but wishy-washy Anglo-Victorian gentleman. Probably the young Alexander's ruggedly handsome features, which appeal so strongly to us living in an age of democracy and plebeian sex appeal, were considered a bit vulgar in his times and needing to be toned down in portraits of a future elevated autocrat. In Russia because of his future role as God's anointed and in Western Europe because of Russia's barbaric and despotic image. When in reality the young Alexander had these strong facial features that may seem superfiscially Russian or American, but perhaps were Alpino-Gallic, from his biological maternal grandfather Baron de Senarclens-Grancy?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 05:49:23 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

HistoricJewels

  • Guest
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #234 on: December 27, 2013, 06:30:58 PM »
Very interesting points.

While doing this research it was very noticeable to me that the Russian images of Alexander are very realistic and as you say rugged.

The photographs taken in Britain are highly staged and make Alexander look like a country squire (English landed nobility).

Meanwhile the French in the Second Empire were probably idealising their images to conform to an imagined lost idyll of the First Napoleonic Empire.

Because of these differences in world view and artistic standards, it is quite possible the cameo portrait did not find favour with Alexander, who was later known as "the Peasant's Tsar" and who loved the simplicity of Russian life, with little taste for anything Western.

HistoricJewels

  • Guest
Cameo portrait of Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov, the future Tsar Alexander III
« Reply #235 on: December 28, 2013, 11:02:18 AM »
Hi all, for those who PM'd and asked to see a full pic of the cameo jewel, here it is:



Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov, the future Tsar Alexander III

Offline Vecchiolarry

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 759
    • View Profile
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #236 on: December 29, 2013, 09:39:57 PM »
Hi,

That cameo brooch is absolutely beautiful - exquisite and a wonderful piece of art...  And, must be very well kept and preserved as it looks great.
Thank you for showing it to us.

Larry

HistoricJewels

  • Guest
Cameo of Tsarevich Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov, future Tsar Alexander III
« Reply #237 on: December 30, 2013, 08:41:40 PM »
Thanks Larry, yes it is in amazing condition for for an item of jewelry around 150 years old.

Unfortunately I have no provenance as it came to me via a local auction house without any history attached,
so I have no idea how it remained so well preserved through all this time.

Offline Maria Sisi

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
    • View Profile
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #238 on: August 10, 2014, 03:52:08 PM »
This was mistaken for being Nicholas II but its actually Alexander III 

historyofromanovs

I never really thought Nicholas looked much like his father but after seeing this photo mistaken as him I really do see the similarity.

Offline Ally Kumari

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3096
    • View Profile
    • Imperial Russia
Re: Alexander III - photo tour
« Reply #239 on: August 10, 2014, 04:00:58 PM »
That IS Nicholas. At least I believe so. Where did you find the information of it being Alexander?