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Count Joseph-Constantin von Ludolf from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Count Joseph-Constantin von Ludolf from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Currently in storage

About this object

Born in Constantinople, Count Joseph-Constantin von Ludolf (1787-1875) was the younger son of the Neapolitan Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. While still a boy, he was sent to Vienna to receive an education befitting his noble status. Upon completing his military studies, Joseph-Constantin traveled to St. Petersburg to perfect his training. Joseph-Constantin launched his diplomatic career in 1805 by serving as an attaché to Russia’s Neapolitan embassy. This experience was short lived however, for he quickly joined the Russian cavalry and proceeded to fight against Napoleon’s armies. After briefly returning to Turkey around 1808, Joseph-Constantin began a years-long, leisurely tour of Europe. He only returned to the diplomatic corps in 1816, when the newly recognized King of the Two Sicilies appointed him Ambassador to Constantinople. That year he also married Countess Tekla Weyssenhoff, who likewise appears in the Middleton Album (52.39.9). The couple remained in the Ottoman capital until 1821. They lived in Naples before Joseph-Constantin was named Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Russian court in 1824. While in St. Petersburg, the Ludolfs became good friends of the Middletons—in his memoirs, Williams Middleton fondly recalled Joseph-Constantin’s lack of hair and jovial personality. In 1832 Joseph-Constantin was designated Neapolitan Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See, a position he formally retained until 1860. During that time he played an integral role in maintaining relations between the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the Papacy. After the reunification of Italy, Joseph-Constantin retired from public service. He died in Verona in 1875.

The portrait features Count Joseph-Constantin von Ludolf with his body facing forward and his eyes looking to the right, against a background of green trees and blue sky with grey clouds. He wears a tan cape with a red collar over a black coat and a white shirt with a white cravat. The red ribbon of an unidentified order hangs around his neck.

Object name:
Count Joseph-Constantin von Ludolf from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor on paper
Date made:

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
inscription __ Comte de Ludolf __Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004