Wednesday, 5 April 2017
A Solomko Painting in Empress Alexandra’s Boudoir
The artist Sergei Solomko (1867-1928) grew up in the Konstantinovich Palace in Strelna where his father was in the service of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich.
Solomko was a prolific artist and famous for his historical watercolors, book graphics, jewellery and costumes. He created models for the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Fabergé, and sketches of Old Russian costumes for the 1903 Winter Palace Ball.
In December 1908, Empress Alexandra sent her brother, Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse-Darmstadt, a postcard of Solomko’s painting ‘Rencontre’ (below).
On July 23rd, 1913 Alexandra sent another postcard to Ernst of Solomko’s painting ‘Une femme assyrienne en trassant d’un tapis’ (below). [Petra Kleinpenning’s ‘Correspondence of the Empress Alexandra of Russia with Ernst Ludwig]
Empress Alexandra hung a large number of paintings in her apartment on the 2nd floor in the Winter Palace, many purchased by her and Nicholas at art exhibitions.
In the photograph (below) of Alexandra’s boudoir in July 1917, I believe the painting of a man in an old Russian costume, visible on the left above the lamp, is by Solomko. There are no archival inventories discovered as yet to confirm my identification of the artist, the date of purchase, nor where the painting is now. Can you help to prove the photo shows a Solomko painting and its location today?