4 June 2014
Portrait of Anastasia Ushakova.
Oil on canvas, laid on board, 147 by 107 cm.
Executed c. 1866.
Provenance: Collection of the sitter’s family.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, Austria.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
Portrait of Anastasia Ushakova by Ivan Makarov is an excellent example of the work of this renowned artist and portraitist of the mid to late-19th century, whose works very rarely appear on the market. The biography of its subject is also of particular interest.
Makarov, who came from the family of a serf artist in Penza Province, was acclaimed by his contemporaries as the Russian Winterhalter and finest heir of the traditions of Karl Bryullov. There were many strands to his talent. After studying under his namesake, Professor A.T. Makarov, he began a successful career in wall painting, including work on frescoes at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow as well as icon painting. But Makarov made his name with his portraits of contemporary society beauties. His models included the Empress Maria Alexandrovna, the widow and daughter of Pushkin, and female members of prominent noble families (Sheremetyev, Kochubeyev, Baryatinsky and Dolgorukov).
Anastasia Ushakova (née Koni, 1824–1902), who looks out at us from this portrait, was an impressive woman. Given in marriage at a young age to Konstantin Gubin, the owner of iron foundries in the Urals, she quickly found herself solely responsible for all of her husband’s factories and villages when he was declared incapable by the Russian Senate. She set about transforming the loss-making factories into exemplary businesses, repaid all of her husband’s debts, settled sums owed to the Russian government, rehired workers who had left the factories and ensured payment of their wages. In just twelve years this remarkable woman carried out a complete reconstruction of the iron foundries, approved the installation of new equipment and new facilities, and built a church in the workers’ settlement of Nizhny Ufaley, near Chelyabinsk.
By the time this portrait was painted Anastasia Iosifovna had remarried Major-General Pavel Ushakov from whose descendants the work comes.
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.