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Count Philipp Wilhelm Ulrich von Thun from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Count Philipp Wilhelm Ulrich von Thun from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Currently in storage

About this object

The son of Otto Heinrich von Thun, Chancellor of Swedish Pomerania, Count Philipp Wilhelm Ulrich von Thun (1784-1862) was descended from Pomeranian nobility. He was educated at his parents’ home in Stralsund before being accepted into the Swedish army. Between 1806 and 1810, Philipp fought in several territorial wars against France and Russia. In 1813 he was appointed an aide to (the then) Swedish Crown Prince Charles John and accompanied him on campaigns against Napoleon I as well as Denmark and Belgium. During the winter of 1814-1815 Philipp traveled to Christiania (Oslo), Norway to perform special missions for the Crown. After the transfer of Swedish Pomerania to Prussia in 1815, he was discharged from military service. Philipp proceeded to serve as a major and battalion commander in the Prussian army. In 1821 he was reassigned to the Alexander Regiment and deployed to St. Petersburg as a Prussian military representative. Alexander I and Nicholas I held Philipp in high favor—he not only attended Nicholas’ coronation, but also joined the Emperor on a campaign against the Turks in 1828. Philipp was named wing-adjutant to Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm III in 1829 and recalled home the following year. He earned various military promotions over the course of the 1830s and 1840s, reaching the level of lieutenant general in 1846. Philipp was also made Ambassador to Kassel, a position he retained after the accession of Friedrich Wilhelm IV in 1840. By 1851 he had resigned and taken up residence in Schlemmin, Germany. Philipp died at his home there in 1862.

The bust-length portrait depicts Count Philipp Wilhelm Ulrich von Thun facing partly right, eyes looking forward, against a background of blue sky with grey clouds. He is dressed in a dark blue-green uniform with a red and silver collar, gold buttons, and gold epaulettes with Friedrich-Wilhelm III’s crowned monogram. He wears many crosses and badges, including the Cross of the Pour le Mérite Order.

Object name:
Count Philipp Wilhelm Ulrich von Thun from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor on paper
Date made:

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
Inscription __ Le Major Thun__Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004