A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813


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Books by Pavel Petrovich Svinʹin

Monroe could lay aside his usual seriousness and indulge in the humorous jest and merry laugh, as if he were young again. About to embark on a hazardous journey from New York to Detroit in , year-old Monroe wrote to Thomas Jefferson:. It is possible I may lose my scalp from the temper of the Indians, but if either a little fighting or a great deal of running will save it, I shall escape safe.

James Monroe and his wife Elizabeth had three children: Eliza , James , and Maria You expressed a desire to sell your land near me. If you cannot prevail on a Lady from one of our great cities to bury herself there with you, one might be found in the neighborhood, of merit and worth, to whom the solitude would not be irksome. If you ever intend to make such an arrangement, you ought not to postpone it much longer. I am now 51 years of age; you are I presume not more than 10 years younger.

In , when we were in Paris together you were about 5 years younger. In , when we were at College, the difference between us was still less. Monroe reportedly replied:. Well, Mr. Randolph is, I think, a capital hand to pull down, but I am not aware that he has ever exhibited much skill as a builder. A Scotch servant, employed about the executive mansion, who had a broad accent and a good fund of cold humor, had been charged, by certain persons who had projected a monument in honor of something or somebody, with a message to an appropriate official, who, it seems, was not the President.

But old Sandy sought the Chief Magistrate, in whose personal service he was, and conveyed the communication to him. Monroe instructed him to address the message elsewhere, and thereupon Sandy, persisting like a Scotchman, said:. President James Monroe appears as a character in Napoleon in America.

James Monroe and Napoleon. Even before Napoleon commanded an army, representatives of Revolutionary France were seizing valuable works of art from occupied territories in Germany and the Austrian Netherlands.

ISNI Pavel Petrovič Svin'in ( )

The French tried to justify art theft not only with the idea that the spoils of war belonged to the victor, but also with the notion that France was the best place for such works. The immortal works [of] Rubens, Van Dyck and other founders of the Flemish school are no longer in a foreign land…. They are today deposited in the homeland of arts and genius, in the homeland of liberty and holy equality, in the French republic.

The more our climate seems unfavorable to the arts, the more do we require models here in order to overcome the obstacles to the progress thereof…. The Romans, once an uncultivated people, became civilized by transplanting to Rome the works of conquered Greece…. Thus…the French people…naturally endowed with exquisite sensitivity, will…by seeing the models from antiquity, train its feeling and its critical sense…. The French Republic, by its strength and superiority of its enlightenment and its artists, is the only country in the world which can give a safe home to these masterpieces.

All other nations must come to borrow from our art, as they once imitated our frivolity.

Visiting the Imperial Crypt in 1837

It is now in the National Gallery of Parma. In Milan on May 18, Napoleon promised to send another twenty pictures.

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As he had done with the Dukes of Parma and Modena, Napoleon inserted demands for art into his truce with the Pope. These terms were formalized in the Treaty of Tolentino February French commissioners could enter any building — public, private, or religious — to confiscate artistic works.

Joined to what we shall be sending from Rome, that will give us everything of beauty in Italy except for a few things at Turin and Naples. As Verona and other cities fell to the French, they too were compelled to give up art. They removed the winged lion from St. The enemies of the arts, and of the republic, affect to lament the removal of the monuments of Italy. They…forget that they have never charged the Romans with committing a crime in taking from the vanquished Greeks the statues, with which they decorated the Capitol, the temples and the squares of Rome; these very statues which the French have taken from the degenerate Roman Catholics to adorn the museum of Paris, and to distinguish by the most noble of trophies, the triumph of liberty over tyranny, and of philosophy over superstition.

Real conquests are those made in behalf of the arts, the sciences and taste, and they are the only ones capable of consoling for the misfortune of being compelled to undertake them from other motives.


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Their fate has changed twice; it will not change again. In , Napoleon embarked with an expeditionary force to Egypt. He was accompanied by artists and scientists whose aim, among other things, was to find artifacts worthy of being shipped back to France. These scholars collected a number of precious objects, the most important of which was the Rosetta Stone.

When the French were defeated by the British, the French hoard was handed over to the British army. He passed them on to the British Museum. Smaller items were allowed to remain in the possession of the French.

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Some of them wound up in the Louvre. In , Napoleon appointed Denon director of the Louvre. These continued on a grand scale, as Napoleon — crowned Emperor in — wanted to make Paris the grandest and most beautiful city that ever existed. In , Napoleon defeated the Prussians and advanced all the way to the Russian frontier. The Duke of Brunswick lost paintings, as well as 9 busts, 74 small bronzes, 83 ivories, and 70 objects sculpted in wood.

Vienna lost at least paintings from the Belvedere Gallery alone. Many were dispersed to provincial museums. Entire collections were brought for her to pick over. She would keep some of the pieces, distribute others to her favourites, and send the rest on to the Louvre. The Louvre continued to receive masterpieces whose origin would be difficult to conceal, but many works of art disappeared into private collections or were sold for personal gain.

Returned to Spain in , it resides in the Prado Museum in Madrid. In , Napoleon invaded Spain and put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne.

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Joseph founded a museum to house the best paintings of Spain. Spanish nobles who remained loyal to the deposed king, Ferdinand VII, had their art collections confiscated. In , Seville was plundered.

Marshal Soult personally amassed over Spanish paintings, most notably valuable works by Murillo. Hundreds of crates of precious artworks were removed from the Escorial, the historical royal residence near Madrid.


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King Ferdinand later gave these to the Duke of Wellington. As is evident in Napoleon in America , Joseph Bonaparte still retained a sizable art collection. Napoleon was compelled to abdicate in April Shortly thereafter, owners of stolen art tried to get their property back. However on June 4, he made a speech that gave the impression that the absence of provisions for art restitution in the Treaty of Paris May 30, , which formally ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, confirmed the French right of possession.

The glory of the French armies has not been tarnished; the monuments to their bravery remain, and the masterpieces of the arts henceforth belong to us by more stable and more sacred rights than those of victory. Although some objects were returned, the French were generally reluctant to give up their trophies. A London paper commented:. They clamour loudly [to be allowed to keep] the articles of Art. And why? By what right? The right of conquest? Then have they not twice lost them? Do they persist in enforcing that right? By January , the Louvre and the Royal Library had relinquished very little — only 6 paintings, 46 marble and 52 bronze statues, carved gems, and a few manuscripts.


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A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813
A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813
A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813
A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813
A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813
A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813 A Russian Paints America: The Travels of Pavel P. Svinin, 1811-1813

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