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 Sergei Shcherbatov


Born:   1875
Deceased:   1962

Russian prince and patron of Art

      

Sergei Aleksandrovich Shcherbatov was born to an ancient noble family in 1875. One of his ancestors F. Apraksin was a companion of Peter the Great. Although Shcherbatov was rich and could spend his life on balls, operas and entertainment, he preferred to support the Russian Art and descendants remember his generosity.

In his young years Sergei was fond of oil painting; his teachers were L. Pasternak and I. Grabar. Later he took up publishing activities. Shcherbatov possessed a big collection of Art including pieces gathered by him as well as the others, inherited from his family. Furniture, exquisite carpets, candelabrums, china, rare pictures were found in his collection, but the portrait gallery consisting of works by European and Russian great artists was the its gem. Another wonderful thing was the album containing poems, notes, and drawings by Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Fyodor Tyutchev, Gioachino Antonio Rossini, Karl Bryullov, etc. The album earlier belonged to Shcherbatovs grandmother, Sofia Apraksina. The Russian part of the collection was represented by the best works of the silver age.

Shcherbatov was one of the firsts, who opened the door to the Japanese Art, showing the paintings created by the artists from the land of the rising sun.


Novinsky Boulevard today

In 1913 Scherbatov built a quaint mansion museum in Novinsky Boulevard, Moscow. This building was intended for private collections and could be rented as a whole for exhibitions. The famous Russian artist Serov worked at his last painting here, in the museum. That was a portrait of Shcherbatovs wife and after the death of the artist the drawing was framed and brought as a gift to the Tretyakov Gallery.

In 1919 the Shcherbatovs, like many others, left Russia for France. For some time they lived in their villa in Cannes, but very soon their modest means compelled them to sell it. Thus, Shcherbatov was deprived of the last thing able to remind him of his status and the past. He turned into an ordinary emigrant and devoted long time to writing his memoirs. The abridged version of his book was firstly published at the beginning of the 1990s in Russia.


One of the Icons from
Shcherbatovs collection

Prior to the October Revolution Shcherbatov gave the considerable part of his collection to the Rumyantsev and Historical Museums, where the masterpieces were stored in cellars. After several years bolshevists nationalized all private property and Shcherbatovs collection was partly sold abroad. Only 12 pieces of Art fell into the hands of the Tratyakov gallerys workers, who could make them a part of the exhibition. Besides, several paintings can now be found in the Bashkir Museum of Art and the Pushkin Museum in St. Petersburg.

The mansion museum in Novinsky Boulevard became a home for workers of the nearest manufactory and lost its fascinating look.

Sergei Aleksandrovich Scherbatov died in 1962 in the USA - the last country to host the Russian nobleman.

Sources:

    old.lgz.ru
    mediateka.km.ru


Olga Pletneva


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