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Stepan Fedorovitch Apraksin

A Fine Portrait Miniature of General Stepan Fedorovitch Apraksin (1792 - 1862) by Heni Benner,
Dated 1817.

The miniature signed to the centre right and dated 1817 by Benner who had been appointed court painted to Alexander I in St. Peterburg. It depicts a young officer with silver fringless epaulettes rimed in red and a gray jacket also with red trim piping. On his chest he wears a number of medals including St Valdimir and St. Ann.

Dimension: 5½" x 4¼" sight. Mounted in deep shadow box. 14" x 13" overall. With brass frame."

On paper, mounted on harder stock. Very small amount of foxing to right of face. Very small amount roughage to paper's edge.


Attribution of sitter proved by Christopher Bryant.
Henri Benner from The Tansey Collection of Miniatures.

Benner, Henri

(Mulhouse 1776- 1836 Mulhouse?)

Already in his youth Benner had painted oil portraits and landscapes and probably produced copper engravings as well. He travelled to Paris and through Germany and returned to Mühlhausen for a short period. (1803/1804) For roughly a year (1815-1816) he evidently stayed in Warsaw, where he created portraits of many Polish aristocrats and artists. Afterwards he began his studies with Isabey in Paris, who influenced him decisively. Due to Isabey' s connections Benner was appointed court painter to Alexander I in Saint Petersburg in 1817, where he remained until 1828. He not only painted numerous members of the court, but he also produced copies of Isabey' s and other works. In 1820 he published graphical reproductions of portrait miniatures of the Russian nobility. The insolvency of the publishing house led to Renner' s financial ruin. In vain he tried to collect his money in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kursk. Completely impoverished he returned to Mühlhausen and devoted himself to glass painting.

The Order of St.Vladimir was instituted in 1782, originally as a civil order of merit, such as for life saving or famine relief. There were four classes. During the Crimean War, it was awarded for military merit as well. If awarded for deeds in arms, crossed swords were placed between the cross arms. To be included in the Order of St. Vladimir (of any class) also granted the recipient hereditary noble rank. After 1826, only the Order of St. George shared this distinction.

A person would be awarded the order's lowest class for the first heroic act. A second meritorious act could be rewarded with the next higher class and so on. Usually only the badge of the highest class was worn. If a recipient had been awarded a lower class with swords, for valor in battle, crossed swords would be set between the cross arms. If the recipient went on to be awarded a higher class, but in peace time, small crossed swords would be set across the upper cross arm.

The Order of St. Vladimir can sometimes be seen in medal groups of non-Russian Allied soldiers, including examples awarded by the White Russian armies after the fall of the Czar. It ranked above the Order of Saint Anne, and below the Order of Saint George. The order of St. Vladimir, fourth class, can be seen as the solitary decoration worn by Czar Nicholas II in the photos taken of him during his final days of captivity before he and his family were executed.

The Order of St. Anne, which ranked just below the order of St. Vladimir in the Imperial Russian hierarchy, was originally an award from Schleswig-Holstien, named by the Duke of Holstein after his wife, Anne Petrovna (Peter the Great's daughter). It became a Russian award in 1742, when the prince of Schleswig-Holstein ascended the Russian throne as Czar Peter III. It came in four classes. The top three classes could be awarded with swords for gallantry in action or military merit in times of war.

The 1st class was worn on sash, but with the star on the right breast. The 2nd class was worn at the neck. The 3rd class (shown above) was worn as a breast badge suspended from the order's ribbon.

The lowest (4th) class of the order was marked by "St. Anne's Weapon." A small badge of the order was attached to a steel edged weapon (appropriate to the branch of service of the recipient) inscribed "For Gallantry." The gold edged red ribbon of the order made up the sword knot.

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Album name:sibbear / Портреты разные XIX
Rating (1 votes):55555
Keywords:19в. ; портрет ; Россия ; награды ; униформа
Автор:Heni Benner
Год создания:1817
Название произведения:Portrait Miniature of General Stepan Fedorovitch Apraksin
�?сточник:The Tansey Collection of Miniatures
Filesize:126 KiB
Date added:Dec 20, 2011
Dimensions:988 x 1200 pixels
Displayed:797 times
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