Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov (Russia, 1798-1883)

Figure 1.--Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov later Duke Gorchakov was chancellor of the Russian Empire (1863-83). He was also an art lover and admired the work of contemprary Belgian and Dutch artists. Here is a portrait of the Duke's sons by Nicaise de Keyser (1848). Notice the open sleeves, popular in the 1840s-50s. .

Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov, later Duke Gorchakov. The Gorchakov family were aristocrats, descended from the first tsars and related to all the important aritocratic families of Russia. Prince Gorchakov was chancellor of the Russian Empire (1863-83). Prince Gorchakov devoted himself primarily to foreign affairs, but took some part in the great internal reforms of Alexander II. istorians rate him as a highly competent diplomat and credit him with some of Tsarist Russia's diplomatic succeses. He helped Russia recpver from the Crimean War diplomatically. His relationship with German Chancellor Bismarck deterioratd, leding to a break when Kaiser Wilhelm refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty that Gorchakov and Bismarck had crafted. Art was Gorchakov's great passion. He collected contemporary 19th century painting from Belgium and the Netherlands. As a result, the Hermitage Amsterdam has imprtant paintings by these often unknown Belgian artists (Eurgene de Block, Theodore Fourmois, Nicaise de Keyser, Joseph Stevens, Louis Gallait and Florent Willems). Here is a portrait of the Duke's sons in 1848 by Nicaise de Keyser. The boys wear what look like tunics. Notice the short open sleeves.


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Created: 8:17 PM 9/1/2006
Last updated: 9:06 PM 5/30/2009