Portrait of Yakov Turgenev

1694 (?)

  • oil on canvas. 105 x 97,5
  • Ж-4902

  • Received in 1929 from the Gatchina Museum-Palace

  • Provenance: New Preobrazhensky Palace near Moscow; later – Imperial Hermitage; Gatchina Palace

Yakov Fyodorovich Turgenev (?–1695) was a member of the All-Mad, All-Jesting, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters, an informal drinking society founded by Peter the Great. The sitter is depicted in the role of «old warrior and Kievan colonel.» Russian Museum: From Icons to the Modern Times. Palace Editions, St Petersburg, 2015. P. 76.

Yakov Turgenev (16?–1695). Served in a Reiter regiment beginning in 1671. He commanded a company in the Kozhukhovo Campaign (1694). Yakov Turgenev’s mock wedding was celebrated in January 1695, and he died shortly after that.

One of the most famous portraits of the so-called Preobrazhensky Series. The earliest reference to the portrait is in the Inventory of 1735; according to which, “the personage of Yakov Turgenev” was placed in the entrance hall. Later it was mentioned in the Inventory of the Hermitage Paintings. It has been argued that the portrait was painted in the summer of 1694 at the latest. However, it is possible that the work was created in the autumn of the same year.

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