MacDougall Auctions 30 November 2004

30 November 2004

Artist Index / Full Catalogue

Portrait of Russian Emperor Nicolas I


Portrait of Russian Emperor Nicolas I Signed.

Oil on canvas, 284 by 203 cm.
120,000-150,000 Pounds

The portrait by Egor Botman is signed and dated St. Petersburg 1870 and was commissioned by Tsar Alexander II as a posthumous mark of respect to his father Nicholas I (1796-1835). Botman was asked to make a second version of the official portrait displayed in the Rotunda of the Hermitage. The first version, at the time certainly very appreciated, has now disappeared. This portrait is therefore the only known version, and is very typical of official Russian 19th century art. Botman became a portrait painter at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg in 1853. The work which brought him recognition was his portrait of Nicolas I (see Kondakow; List of Russian Painters, 1914, page 13). Paintings by Botman are rare, but show a talented artist with a liking for spectacular effects. The Museum of the Hermitage at St. Petersburg has two paintings by his hand, both of them copies of portraits by Franz Kruger, the portrait of Illarion Vasilyevich Vasilchikov and the portrait of Count Alexander Benkendorff. Helsinki University Museum has a full-length portrait of Alexander II by Botman (see ttp:// The original was illustrated in a painting of the Hermitage Rotunda by EP Hau, 1862, shown below. Literature: D.A. Rovinski, Dictionnaire Complet des Portraits Russe Gravés, Vol. IV, 1889, Chapter V, column 241.

Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.