THE ASSUMED PORTRAIT OF JOACHIM CHREPTOWICZ IN THE LITHUANIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
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Two 19th-century copies of original paintings dating from the 18th century (one currently belonging to the Museum of History in Moscow, the other to the Lithuanian National Museum in Vilnius) were long regarded as presenting the portrait of one man, Joachim Litawor Chreptowicz as copied by Jan Damel from the original, by Józef Grassi, dating from 1795. The author has established that the original portrait by Grassi, recorded in Polish and Lithuanian sources as having disappeared after the January Uprising of 1863, was in fact moved some time before 1914 by K. Chreptowicz-Butenev, from the family estate at Szczorse to Moscow. The original portrait and its copy remained in the Rum'antsev Museum until its closure and then Grassi's picture was moved in 1924 to the Alexander Pushkin Museum of the Fine Arts, while Damel's copy to the Museum of History, both in Moscow. Both portraits are virtually identical, being distinguishable from each other thanks to some minor details, but clearly signed: 'J. Grassy pin Ao 1795 Vienne', in contrast to Damel's copy: 'Pp J Damel d´apres Grassi 1809 a Szczorse'. The personage presented in Grassi's original and Damel's copy does not resemble the figure in the Vilnius portrait under discussion. The author has identified the person depicted in the portrait as being Count Michal Walicki (1746-1828), which compared with two portraits of the same figure preserved in a damaged pastel on parchment, stored in the National Musuem in Warsaw and a woodcut published in the Polish weekly 'Tygodnik Ilustrowany' in 1879. It has not been possible to fully solve the question of the portrait's attribution. According to Kondratowicz's catalogue, this picture was itself a copy, and it shares numerous common traits with representative portraits by Lampi at the end of the 18th century. Comparison of Walicki's portrait with Lampi's preserved works suggests the picture is indeed a copy.
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