Léopold Bernhard Bernstamm
Portrait of Emperor Nicholas II, 1897
Inscribed in Russian Bernstamm, Paris 1897, struck with Siot-Decauville Foundry mark and applied with wax seal on the base
Height 14 3/4 inches (37.5 cm).
Léopold Bernstamm, a French sculptor of Russian origin, was trained at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. He rose to prominence in the 1880s with the completion of a series of portraits of French and Russian political and cultural figures. In September 1895, Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna sat for Bernstamm. In an entry in his diary on Wednesday, September 20, the emperor recalls that he "spent more than an hour sitting for Bernstamm." (Diaries of Nicholas II, Moscow, 1991, pp. 103-104).
Several portraits of Nicholas II by Bernstamm are known to exist. Another cast of the present portrait was sold Sotheby's, London, November 30, 2011, lot 677. A pair of porcelain portrait busts of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, produced by Sèvres and dated 1897, were sold Christie's, London, June 5, 2017, lot 311. A Sèvres porcelain bust of Nicholas II is held in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
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