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Countess Zinaida von Lebzeltern, née de Laval de la Loubrerie, from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Countess Zinaida von Lebzeltern, née de Laval de la Loubrerie, from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Currently in storage


About this object

Countess Zinaida von Lebzeltern, née de Laval de la Loubrerie (c.1803-1873), was one of four daughters of Jean-Charles François de Laval de la Loubrerie, a French émigré, and Alexandra Kozitskaya, a member of one of Russia’s wealthiest families. Her mother’s wealth ensured that she and her siblings (one of whom, Sophia, also appears in the Middleton Album -- 52.39.14) lived in a palace along the fashionable English Embankment and socialized with the cream of St. Petersburg society. Alexander Pushkin, who was well acquainted with the de Lavals, read poetry at their home and even described their mansion in his poem The Bronze Horseman (1833). In 1823 Zinaida married Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern, Austria’s current minister to St. Petersburg (52.39.21). In the Album, she is shown holding their only child, Alexandrine (1827-1899). The de Lebzelterns’ familial ties to Prince Sergei Troubetzkoy, a leader of the 1825 Decembrist uprising, led to Ludwig being recalled in 1826. Zinaida accompanied her husband when he was transferred to Naples in 1830 and lived there until her husband’s death in 1854. She later remarried Italian poet Joseph Campagna. Zinaida died in Paris in 1873.

The half-length portrait presents Countess Zinaida von Lebzeltern facing partly right, eyes looking forward, with her only child, Alexandrine, also looking towards the viewer, against a background of grey clouds. The Countess sits on a yellow sofa with red piping. She wears a white dress with a blue bow belt, a double-stranded necklace, and pendant earrings. Her dark hair is elaborately styled in an Apollo knot. The Countess supports her daughter with her right hand as she stands on her mother’s lap. The young girl wears a white dress with blue bows on the sleeves and a frilled white cap topped with a blue bow. She plays with her mother’s necklace with her left hand.

Category:
PAINTINGS
Object name:
Countess Zinaida von Lebzeltern, née de Laval de la Loubrerie, from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor on paper
Date made:
1827-1830

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
52.39.22
Signature marks:
Inscription __Comtesse de Lebzeltern, née de Laval __Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004