Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great

Empress of Russia (1729-1796). Charter for the order of St. Vladimir of Fourth Degree to the Lieutnant Colonel of the Leib-Grenader Regiment, Coremykin. St. Petersburg. 370:230 mm. Folded leaf with secretarial script to first page. Counter-signed by Catherine's Vice-Chancellor Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov (1727-1797).
$ 8,420 / 7.500 € (76137/BN48543)

Shuvalov is considered the Maecenas of the Russian Enlightenment and a crucial figure during the reign of Catherine the Great. He served as the first Minister of Education and initiated the creation of the Imperial Academy of Arts. Together with the scholar and writer Mikhail Lomonosov, Shuvalov also helped found the Moscow University in 1755. His prominence at the Russian court was based on his intimate liaison with Elizabeth of Russia (1709-61). After her death, and following the ascension of Catherine the Great, Shuvalov spent fourteen years in Europe, where he acquired numerous works of art for the Academy and the Russian Hermitage in St.

Petersburg. He returned in 1777 as an honorary servant to Catherine's court, as well as a central figure of the new generation of artists and intellectuals: his mansion was the meeting place for Denis Fonvizin, Ekaterine Dashkova, Emil Kostrov and many others. Signatures of Shuvalov appear particularly scarce in the trade; we are unable to trace any similar documents..

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