Pyotr Sokolov (1787-1848)
Portrait of Prince Grigory Ivanovich Gagarin
reference number: RG_013
charcoal and sanguine on paper
57 x 42 cm
signed in Cyrillic lower right: Prince Gr. Gagarin / P. Sokolov
Prince Grigory Ivanovich Gagarin (1782-1837) — Russian diplomat, poet, art lover and philanthropist. Prince Grigory belonged to a prominent Russian noble family, his parents were Prince Ivan Sergeevich Gagarin (1752-1810) and Princess Maria Alexeyevna Volkonskaya (1753-1804). He studied at the Boarding School of the Moscow University, from where he graduated with a gold medal.
In 1797, Gagarin began service at the College of Foreign Affairs. In the following years, he has had a distinguished diplomatic career: he served in Vienna, Constantinople, and Paris. During the 1806-1807 Campaign, Gagarin took part in the negotiations at Tilsit. Later in 1807, he joined the Russian embassy in Paris. In 1809 he returned to St.Petersburg, where he was soon appointed a the State Secretary of the State Council. Six years later he returned to diplomatic service as a member of the Russian mission in Rome.
Gagarin was a close friend of many painters and writers, such as Zhukovsky, Turgenev, Kiprensky, Bryullov, and many others. In his Roman residence, he welcomed many Russian artists who studied in Italy. Since 1827, Gagarin was appointed an honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Arts in St.Petersburg.
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