venerdì 3 settembre 2021

Baron Alexander von Stieglitz's lavish mansion.

Would you like to come back in time and enter a luxurious residence dating back to the middle of the XIXth, maybe in the guise of a Lady?


Well, the one you see in the mirror hanging at the top of the first flight of stairs reflecting the front door, that Lady in a blue dress and with a dark blazer talking to the usher, just that, it could be you while you show him your invitation: you are about to pay a call to a person of high rank.
The clock hanging between the stuccoes above the mirror marks 2.20 pm, the ideal time to receive formal visits according to the Victorian etiquette...


Ah, I forgot to tell you that we are in Russia, in the Tsarist Russia of Alexander II and the one you are about to enter is the sumptuous mansion of the first governor of the State Bank of the Russian Empire - which later became the Central Bank of the Russian Federation - Baron Alexander von Stieglitz.
Perhaps you have received an invitation from Baroness
Nadežda
 1, the young daughter of the baron who shared all this gorgeousness with him.


Jalabert, Charles François (1819-1901), Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva


Nadežda, the illegitimate daughter of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovič Romanov, was adopted by Baron Aleksandr Ljudvigovič Štiglic and his wife, whose only child died in infancy.
It was 1844 when, according to a sort of legend that circulated at the time and which seems almost a fairy tale, the little girl was found among the lilac bushes in a diaper basket with a note pinned: it bore the date of December 10, 1843. Despite the fact that both the baron and his wife professed the Lutheran creed, respecting her origins and her native land, the little girl was baptized with an Orthodox rite.

To reach the palace you would have taken a carriage that would have guided you on the English Enbankment, definitely one of the most fashionable streets in all St. Petersburg, which took its name from the British embassy and an English church that overlooked it.
It was here, in this panoramic and luxurious area of ​​the capital where nobles and aristocrats already boasted of owning their own home, that in 1859 the baron von Stieglitz commissioned the famous architect Aleksandr Krakau (1817-1888) to design and build a sumptuous Neo-Renaissance style building


Gaertner, Eduard, English Embankment in Saint Petersburg, 1835


So, by the threshold, you would have expected a valet or the butler who would have accompanied you to one of these rooms:


The White Drawing Room



The Golden Drawing Room



The Blue Drawing Room



The Yellow Drawing Room

Or maybe you would have been taken directly to the baroness' study



walking through the library,



the baron's study, 



and, perhaps, through the half-open doors you would have glimpsed the dining room



and the supper room



while you could see the rest of the servants busy preparing the ballroom



and the concert room for a reception which had to be held that same evening ...


You have to know that this jump back in time was made possible thanks to the watercolor paintings of the Italian painter Luigi Premazzi (1814-1891) who, after attending the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, in Milan, around 1850 he moved to St. Petersburg where he became a teacher at the imperial school of Fine Arts in 1861. From repeated visits to the Caucasus and the Middle East he drew new subjects for his paintings, which he continued to send to Italian exhibitions, arousing wonder and curiosity. He died in Constantinople, but is buried in the Tikhvin cemetery, the "artists' necropolis" of St. Petersburg.

But let's go back to the figure of the historical Russian businessman of German origins who is the true protagonist of our story today, a sort of 'Rothschild of old St. Petersburg', as someone defined him, who was part of Alexander's II entourage


Alexander von Stieglitz - Russian name Aleksandr Ljudvigovič Štiglic - was born in St. Petersburg to a German banker who emigrated with his family from Hesse and who had made a fortune at the Court of Tsar Alexander I by becoming the founder of the bank Stieglitz & Company and thereafter was namend baron.
On the death of his father he inherited his noble title and his fortune.
In addition to owning several manufacturing companies, von Stieglitz used his capital in building the railway that was supposed to connect St. Petersburg to Moscow and obtained loans to help the Russian effort during the Crimean War.
In 1870, having become the leading banker of Russia, he began to give back to the russian society what had led to his financial success and, in addition to contributing to many charities and institutions, he donated funds for the creation of a museum and was the founder of the Central College of Technical Drawing (now AL Stieglitz State Industrial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg).



But how much do you like daydreaming, my dear friends and loyal readers?
I hope with all my heart that I have succeeded again making you fly with your imagination
and to make you live for some time in a fairytale world.
It costs nothing and it's so good for the heart!

See you soon ❤








QUOTES AND NOTES TO THE TEXT:

1-Nadežda Michajlovna Juneva (1843-1908), married name Nadežda Michajlovna Polovcova, once became orphaned by her father in 1884, inherited this grand palace of his.
Considered the richest heiress of her time, Nadežda found herself possessing numerous
real estate, including factories, land, two palaces in St. Petersburg and the cottage on Stone Island, as well as all the interest-bearing titles that belonged to the baron. She was forced to sell this property to the State Treasury, but the building soon returned to the Romanovs when it was bought for Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich, the last son of Tsar and Tsarina Maria Aleksandrovna, on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Greece.
If the palace held happy memories for von Stieglitz, for Pavel Alexandrovich living within its walls was the beginning of a series of tragedies: Princess Alexandra died during the birth of their second child and, when the Bolsheviks came to power, Pavel was arrested, all his assets were confiscated and he was eventually shot.






La sfarzosa dimora del barone Alexander von Stieglitz.


Vi piacerebbe tornare indietro nel tempo ed entrare in una lussuosa residenza che risale alla metà del XIX° secolo, magari nelle vesti di una Lady?


- FOTO 1 - Veduta della scala interna della residenza in questione



Ecco, quella che vedete nello specchio appeso in cima alla prima rampa di scale e che riflette la porta d'ingresso, quella Lady in abito bluette e con un blazer scuro che parla con l'usciere, proprio quella, potreste essere voi mentre gli mostrate il vostro invito: state per concedere una visita di riguardo ad una persona di alto rango.
L'orologio appeso tra stucchi sopra lo specchio segna le 14,20, ora ideale per ricevere visite formali secondo quanto previsto dal protocollo vittoriano...


- FOTO 2 - Ingrandimento dell'immagine precedente


Ah, dimenticavo di dirvi che siamo in Russia, nella Russia zarista di Alessandro II e quella in cui state per entrare è la fastosa dimora del primo governatore della Banca di Stato dell'Impero Russo - divenuta poi Banca Centrale della Federazione Russa - il barone Alexander von Stieglitz.
Forse avete ricevuto un invito dalla baronessa Nadežda 1, la giovane figlia del barone che con lui condivideva questo lusso.


- FOTO 3 - Jalabert, Charles François (1819-1901), Portrait of Nadezhda Polovtseva


Nadežda, figlia illegittima del granduca Michail Pavlovič Romanov, era stata adottata dal barone Aleksandr Ljudvigovič Štiglic e da sua moglie, il cui unico figlio morì durante l'infanzia.
Era il 1844 quando, secondo una sorta di leggenda che circolava al tempo e che sembra quasi una fiaba, la bambina venne trovata tra i cespugli di lilla in un cesto per pannolini con appuntato un biglietto: esso recava scritta la data del 10 dicembre 1843. Nonostante il fatto che sia il barone che sua moglie professassero il credo luterano, nel rispetto delle sue origini e della sua terra natale, la piccola fu battezzata con rito ortodosso.

Per raggiungere il palazzo avreste preso una carrozza che vi avrebbe guidato sull'English Enbankment, l'argine inglese, decisamente una delle strade più alla moda di tutta San Pietroburgo, che mutuava il proprio nome dall'ambasciata britannica e da una chiesa inglese che su di esso si affacciavano.
Fu qui, in questa zona panoramica e lussuosa della capitale dove già nobili ed aristocratici vantavano di possedere la propria dimora, che nel 1859 il barone von Stieglitz commissionò al famoso architetto Aleksandr Krakau (1817-1888) la progettazione nonché l'edificazione di un sontuoso edificio in stile neorinascimentale.


- FOTO 4 - Gaertner, Eduard, English Embankment in Saint Petersburg, 1835


Quindi, in prossimità della soglia, avreste atteso un valletto o il maggiordomo che vi avrebbe accompagnata in uno di questi ambienti: 


- FOTO 5 - The White Drawing Room


- FOTO 6 - The Golden Drawing Room


- FOTO 7 - The Blue Drawing Room


- FOTO 8 - The Yellow Drawing Room


O forse sareste state condotte direttamente nello 'studiolo' della baronessa


- FOTO 9


passando attraverso la biblioteca,


- FOTO 10


lo studio del barone,


- FOTO 11


e, magari, dalle porte mezze socchiuse avreste intravvisto la sala da pranzo


- FOTO 12


e la sala in cui veniva consumata la cena


- FOTO 13


mentre riuscivate a scorgere il resto della servitù affaccendata nel preparare il salone da ballo


- FOTO 14

 
e la stanza dei concerti per un ricevimento che si sarebbe tenuto quella sera stessa...


- FOTO 15


Sappiate che questo salto all'indietro nel tempo ci è stato reso possibile grazie ai dipinti ad acquerello del pittore italiano Luigi Premazzi (1814-1891) il quale, dopo aver frequentato l'Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, a Milano, attorno al 1850 si trasferì a San Pietroburgo dove divenne insegnante presso la scuola imperiale di Belle Arti nel 1861. Dai ripetuti soggiorni in Caucaso ed in Medio Oriente trasse nuovi soggetti per i suoi dipinti, che continuò ad inviare alle esposizioni italiane suscitando meraviglia e curiosità. Si spense a Costantinopoli, ma è sepolto nel cimitero Tichvin, la "necropoli degli artisti" di San Pietroburgo.

Ma torniamo alla figura dello storico uomo d'affari russo di origini tedesche che è il vero protagonista del nostro racconto di oggi, una sorta di 'Rothschild della vecchia San Pietroburgo', come alcuni ebbero a definirlo, che faceva parte dell'entourage di Alessandro II.


- FOTO 16 - Ritratto del barone Aleksandr Ljudvigovič Štiglic 


Alexander von Stieglitz - nome in russo Aleksandr Ljudvigovič Štiglic - nacque a San Pietroburgo da un banchiere tedesco emigrato con la famiglia dall'Assia che aveva fatto fortuna alla Corte dello zar Alessandro I divenendo fondatore della compagnia bancaria Stieglitz & Company e, quindi, nominato barone
Alla morte del padre ereditò il suo titolo nobiliare e la sua fortuna.
Oltre a possedere diverse imprese manifatturiere, von Stieglitz impiegò i propri capitali nella costruzione della ferrovia che avrebbe dovuto collegare San Pietroburgo a Mosca e ottenne prestiti per aiutare a finanziare lo sforzo russo durante la guerra di Crimea.
Nel 1870, divenuto il principale banchiere di Russia, iniziò a restituire alla società ciò che aveva portato al suo successo finanziario e, oltre a contribuire a molti enti di beneficenza e istituzioni, donò fondi per la creazione di un museo e fu fondatore del Collegio Centrale di Disegno Tecnico (ora A. L. Stieglitz Accademia Industriale di Stato delle Arti di St. Pietroburgo).


Ma quanto vi piace sognare ad occhi aperti, mie care amiche ed affezionate lettrici?
Spero con tutto il cuore di essere riuscita anche questa volta
a farvi volare con la fantasia 
e a farvi vivere per qualche frangente in un mondo da fiaba.
Costa nulla e fa tanto bene al cuore!

A presto 






CITAZIONI E NOTE AL TESTO:

1 - Nadežda Michajlovna Juneva (1843-1908), nome da sposata Nadežda Michajlovna Polovcova, rimasta orfana del padre nel 1884, ereditò questo grandioso palazzo.
Considerata la più ricca ereditiera del suo tempo, Nadežda si ritrovò a possedere numerose
proprietà immobiliari, tra cui fabbriche, terreni, due palazzi a San Pietroburgo e il cottage sul Stone Island, così come tutti i titoli fruttiferi che furono, a suo tempo, del barone. Fu costretta a vendere la proprietà alla Tesoreria di Stato, ma l'edificio tornò presto nelle mani dei Romanovs quando fu acquistata per il Granduca Pavel Alexandrovich, ultimo figlio dello zar e della zarina Maria Aleksandrovna, in occasione del suo matrimonio con la Principessa Alexandra di Grecia.
Se il palazzo custodiva ricordi felici per von Stieglitz, per Pavel Alexandrovich vivere tra le sue mura fu l'inizio di una serie di tragedie: la principessa Alexandra morì durante la nascita del loro secondo figlio e, quando i bolscevichi salirono al potere, Pavel fu arrestato, gli furono confiscati tutti i beni e fu infine fucilato.






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30 commenti:

  1. Ah, I loved this post! We saw the exterior of this mansion on a sightseeing tour several years ago. It's quite impressive, though I understand the interior is fairly well dilapidated and sadly in need of major restoration. The State was undertaking the job in the late 70's and 80's, but the end of the Soviet Union was also the end of the project. Such a shame! We're so fortunate to have those exquisite watercolors to get a good idea of the lavish and luxe design and furnishings.
    Thanks for sharing!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Tristan Robin
      thank you for gracing my blog both with your presence and with your so beautiful words!
      Actually, I was amazed at these watercolors as soon as I saw them, they're so detailed that I really couldn't accept the idea that they weren't photography of the interiors well preserved. Instead, as you rightly say, we're so fortunate to have these paintings, so we can perfectly immerge ourselves in the reality of the years during which the Baron and hiss family, first, and then Grand Duke Pavel Alexandrovich together with his wife, lived there.
      Nowadays the project to restore it is in the hands of the State University, such buildings shouldn't have to fall in disgrace, but even if it's already run-down in order of too many years of neglecting, I'm glad when I read or become to know that restorations bring back to life ancient mansions!
      May the remainder of your week be filled with love and smiles,
      thanks again and again ⊰✽*Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ*✽⊱

      Elimina
  2. Risposte
    1. R's Rue
      I'm so glad you're pleased by this article, thank you sweet Lady!
      Sending hugs and more hugs to you •ღ❤ღ•

      Elimina
  3. So, lovely... a colored room for your every mood. Sumptious decor and even a little over the top, but then I'm sure the Rothschilds didn't skimp either. And, banker and railroad magnate, much like our Vanderbilts. Lovely post and the artwork is exquisite.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Sandi Magle
      I welcome you with the biggest hug ever, I so love your comments, thank you!
      Wishing you a love-filled and sunny day ∗⊱༺♡❀♡༻⊰∗

      Elimina
  4. What a splendid daydream! Oh, my -- what a magical spot. I'm amazed that is watercolor -- so detailed and intricate. I love that there was a drawing room in all the major colors!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Jeanie
      as a painter you are able to appreciate and judge these true masterpieces...sometimes i find myself watching at all the slightest detail which isn't forgotten in these watercolors, even the smallest one is painted with such an incredible precision!
      I wonder why this Italian painter hasn't become as famous as he deserved, he was a great artist.
      I'm always looking forward to your comments, Dearie, they lift my spirits and make my days, thank you for being so supportive!
      Sending blessings across the many miles •♥✿ڿڰۣ✿♥•

      Elimina
  5. Oh my that is just amazing, I always try to imagine myself in one of these homes but I think when I really come down to it I like cozy and this is just to grand but I do love visiting these homes and imagining what it would be like to live in one, thanks so much for the tour today!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Conniecrafter
      It is I who thank you, wonderful friend of mine, with your words of appreciaton you always make my days a bit brighter!
      Hope you're having the best of weeks ❥

      Elimina
  6. Risposte
    1. Rajani Rehana
      Thank you hugs are coming your way, new friend!
      Have a most wonderful rest of your week ✿⊱╮

      Elimina
  7. It would be beautiful to be invited to a ball there! Although as i have noted before, i think i would be more worried about how to pull off dancing in one of the dresses they wore then. It's hard to imagine managing that much cloth at once.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. messymimi
      It would be, indeed!
      I suppose that the Ladies of those times were used to wear rich and voluminous ball gowns, and probably so would us in a daydream, don't you think so ツ?!?
      I'm sincerely glad you liked the article and I'm so grateful to you for being such a faithful friend of ~ My little old world ~, you mean so much to me!
      With lots of love, blessings and hugs •ಌ•❀•ಌ•

      Elimina
  8. Leaned things I didn't know about the baron. Thank you for that.

    I would love to visit a mansion like this.

    Thank you for joining the Awww Mondays Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Awww Monday and week. ♥

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Sandee
      I'd love too!
      Thanking you for visiting and for leaving your so nice comment,
      I pray your week is a blessed one ♡ஐ♡

      Elimina
  9. Ciao Dear Dany
    A fascinating story of wealth and power, and the magnificent palace of Baron Alexander von Stieglitz! The drawing rooms and studies were so sumptuous and extravagant. It is amazing to see the detail in the watercolor paintings.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Pat

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Pat
      Dear, Ciao!!!
      It's such a delight to welcome you here, you give me a deep joy, indeed, a true happiness since you're an amiable Lady with a kind soul.
      I thank you wholeheartedly,
      take care and have yourself a stunning week •♥•♥•♥•

      Elimina
  10. I cannot imagine growing up in such fancy surroundings. Honestly I would rather play in the dirt.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Linda
      People who once lived in such splendour were used to these environments...we cannot do a comparison with us nowadays!
      May your days to come be blessed with Joy ✿*✿

      Elimina
  11. Gorgeous! I often wonder - if I was born back then, would I be the one gliding down those fancy stairs or the one cleaning them?
    Amalia
    xo

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Amalia
      My Dearest one, well, a jump back in the past could hold some surprises to us...we could be a Lady or a maid...I suppose we all would love to be a well-to-do Lady, but probably most of maids were respected and well treated, even if lived in a completely different way, sometimes with quite low wages according to their tasks and role in the mainsion they lived and worked in.
      So glad for your visit,
      I'm sending my dearest love to you ⊰♥Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ♥⊱

      Elimina
  12. Hai fatto centro,Daniela! ho immaginato di avere in mano l'invito e di vivere un momento da favola, tra sfarzo, raffinata eleganza, musica e pacate chiacchiere; un mondo effettivamente stupendo per pochi, ma cancellato con vendicativa violenza che non deve essere mai giustificata, secondo me
    La tua conoscenza storica è formidabile!!Grazie!
    Franca

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Franca
      Grazie a te, mia cara, infinitamente, e non te lo dirò mai abbastanza, le tue visite mi allietano sempre e sono uno straordinario compenso per il mio entusiasmo!
      E che il fine settimana ti sorrida di gioia •ღ❤ღ•

      Elimina
  13. Risposte
    1. Rajani Rehana
      I've just read your post and found it truly charming, thank you for sharing it!
      Enjoy the end of your week ༺❀༻

      Elimina
  14. Another outstanding post! Thank you!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Kathy
      with utmost gratitude for gracing my blog today with such nice words,
      I'm sending my warmest hug to you ∗✿≫♥≪✿∗

      Elimina
  15. Wow, it was almost too beutiful to be believed! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. Kathleen
      Your words of amusement fill my heart with gladness, I'm sincerely happy to read that you liked this article of mine, sweet friend!
      May your new week be filled with smiles ❥

      Elimina

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