George Dawe

Portrait of Admiral Alexander Shishkov

Portrait of Admiral Alexander Shishkov
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: George Dawe
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 103x78 cm
Origin: Britain, Circa 1827

The Portrait of Admiral Alexander Shishkov is one of the best canvases by George Dawe produced in Russia apart from his main work to order - the portraits of Russian generals for the War Gallery of 1812. For some unknown reason the portrait remained unfinished. Dawe not only precisely conveyed likeness but also revealed the imperious, vigorous and stern character of his sitter.

Alexander Shishkov was an outstanding statesman and man of letters. In his youth he several times navigated as a naval officer. In 1795 he published a Nautical Dictionary in Russian, English and French. In 1810 Shishkov initiated the foundation of the "Conversation of the Lovers of Russian Language" society. During the Russian campaigns against Napoleon in 1812-14, Shishkov accompanied Alexander I and wrote for him all the manifestoes, decrees and speeches, which promoted the raising of patriotic feelings. He occupied important state posts as President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Minister for Education and member of the State Council. He adhered to conservative views in politics.

Source of entry: via the State Museum Fund from the collection of D. I. Tolstoy, Petrograd, 1923

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