Monday, 1 May 2017
Theft in Grand Duke Paul’s Apartment in the Winter Palace
In February 1872, there was a theft in the apartment of Grand Duke Paul, the youngest son of Alexander II, on the 1st floor of the southwest corner of the Winter Palace. After informing the Minister of the Court, the Marshall of the Court ordered an internal and external investigation by the City Police.
The theft was Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen's painting of ‘A girl and a boy by the garden wall being served a bunch of grapes by a passing girl’ in 1853.
The painting was stolen ‘from the room adjacent to two corridors: one leading to the Empress Marie’s private stairs and rooms of Countess Tolstoy and the other to the large hall and Her Majesty’s Own Entrance’. Children’s sleds with three horses were below the painting on which the thief stood to remove the frame.
Photograph (below) of the room on the 1st floor leading to the private stairs
Johann Meyer’s painting was never found. The on-duty valet responsible for the rooms of Grand Duke Paul was demoted for negligence.
An example (below) of Meyer’s style in his painting ‘At the Well’