Oil on canvas
85 х 71
State Russian Museum
Grand Duke Michael (Mikhail) Pavlovich (1798–1849) was the fourth son of Emperor Paul I and his second wife, Empress Marie Feodorovna. Since the day of his birth, he held the rank of General of the Branch, but actually joined the management of the Artillery Department in 1819. Beginning in 1831, he was the main chief of the Page Corps and all of the ground Cadet Corps. He fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829 and in the Polish Campaign of 1830–1831. He facilitated a series of transformations in the army. In 1844, he became the commander of the Guards and Grenadier Corps. In 1824 he married his cousin Princess Friederike Charlotte Marie of Württemberg (Elena Pavlovna after her conversion to Orthodoxy). In George Dawe’s portrait, he is depicted in the uniform of the Guard Artillery with the Order of St Andrew (star). The Mikhailovsky Palace in St Petersburg, which today is occupied by the Russian Museum, was named after the Grand Duke.
Dawe, George Edward
1781, London – 1829, Kentish Town (near London)
English painter, draughtsman,portraitist. Son and student of engraver F. Dawe. Elder brother of engraver Henry Edward Dawe. Studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in London (1803). Academician (1813). Honorary member of the academies of arts of Vienna, Florence, Munich, Dresden, Stockholm and Paris. Moved to Russia on the invitation of Emperor Alexander I to paint portraits of commanders who fought in the Patriotic War of 1812. Together with his Russian assistances Alexander Polyakov and Vasily Golike created 322 portraits of Russian generals for the Military Gallery in the Winter Palace. Produced many paintings on commission. Honorary associate member of the Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg (1820). First portrait painter of the Imperial Court (1828). Left St Petersburg (1828), returned for a short time (February 1829), then left for London via Warsaw.