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Ukrainian Collectors: Kyrylo Rozumovsky // PROcollections Research Project


Not only the last hetman of the Zaporozhian Army, but also a respected collector!

Kyrylo Rozumovskiy acquired his first works of art at the age of 15 during a study tour in Europe, and after he turned 22 began to purposefully collect his art collection.

In 1746 Elizabeth Petrovna appoints the young but enlightened 18-year-old Kyrilo as president of the Academy of Sciences in view of “special abilities acquired in art”. He also helps with the formation of the collection, which will later be called “one of the finest artistic collections of the second half of 18th century.”

Rozumovskiy buys art in Europe and through suppliers. As for the purchase, he listens to the advice of Ivan Shuvalov, founder of the first Academy of Arts in the Russian Empire and also a passionate collector. To organize a picture gallery in a house on the Moika River, he transports to St. Petersburg Giuseppe Antonio Martinelli, a Venetian painter and restorer who will later become a custodian in the Hermitage.

The most complete description of the collection is made by art historian Jakob Stelin. These are about 350 works of authorship of Italian and French, Flemish, German and Russian artists of the XVI-XVIII centuries. Among them: Pietro and Marco Libri, Gregorio Lazarini, Pompeo Batoni, Jacopo Bassano, Pierre-Jacques Waller, Gaspar Duge, Willem van de Velde Senior, Anton Losenko, Andrei Matveev and others.

After the death of Kyrilo Rozumovskiy, the collection was split between relatives. Most of the works, which were transported to the estate in Yagotin during his lifetime, were inherited by his granddaughter Barbara Rozumovskaya (later Repnin-Volkonskaya) and became part of Repnin-Volkonskiy collection. And we can see its remains today in the museums of Ukraine. For example, among authenticated works from the collection of Rozumovskiy (Repnin-Volkonskiy) – “Allegory of Mercy” by Ladzarini, which is now in Hanenko Museum.

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