Etude préparatoire pour le portrait du baron Rausch de Traubenberg. Huile sur toile, conservée dans un encadrement à baguette dorée. H.: 28 cm - L.: 22 cm. Exhibited: Exposition Russe d’Art ancienne et Moderne, Ches Devambes & Co, November 1921, III-me section, salle No 2 (page 27 of the catalog), Helikon 1921. Provenance: Family of the sitter; sale Coutau-Begarie ,Paris: Nov 4 2011 lot 404. Baron Konstantin K. RAUSCH FON TRAUBENBERG (1871-1935) – Russian sculptor, emigrated in Paris.
Self-portrait, oil on canvas, circa 1880, 12x15” Exhibited: “A Time to Gather… Russian Art From Foreign Private collections”, State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg, February-June 2008, Moscow - Exhibition Center "Tsaritsyno", June-July 2008, Palace Editions,2008, illustrated in the catalog p. 88 ill 44 Label on the back: “50. Серов B.A. П-т мододого человека X.M. 38х32”
[“When the creative oeuvre of the celebrated Russian artists is concerned and Valentin Serov is, undoubtedly, one of the best artists of the 19th-20th centuries, then the main criteria used to establish the authorship of a picture is evaluation of the level of artistic craftsmanship as regards both, their mature and early works.
The given unfinished picture painted at the age of 15, already has the distinctive features of the would be famous in future “Serov’s portrait”. Simple composition, precise paintwork and delicate chiaroscuro modeling of the face as well as the emotional resonance of background create a convincing image of a concentrated, pensive young man. The representation has certain features of the artist’s self-portrait. The work was painted at a very important period of the artist’s life when he tried to sum up the knowledge he had gained from his teacher Ilya Repin, who prepared him for the studies at the Imperial Academy of Arts. His new teacher, Pavel Chistyakov genuinely admired Serov’s talent, and found the painterly language of the gifted young man developed “to the utmost””]
Portrait of a sitting young girl in a pink dress (Granddaughter of P. Tretiakov, daughter of A.P. Botkina, niece of L. Bakst, later on - a well known soviet movie star Alexandra Sergeevna Hohlova (born 1891), spouse of the director L. Kuleshov- compare with her 1911 photo in R. Buckle “Nijinsky”, Simon and Shuster, NY, 1971p. 206 where she is photographed with Tamara Karsavina, Nijinsky, Diaghilev, Benois, and Stravinsky; Alexandra Hohlova has her portraits executed by F. MALIAVINE and A. Lentulov (1919) as well ), , oil on canvas, 28 x 20" c.1899. Exhibited: “Mir Iskusstva”, 1901, Petersburg-Moscow; “Faces of Russia”, February 2007, West Palm Beach International Art Fair, USA (illustrated on page 28 of the catalog). ; exhibited: “A Time to Gather… Russian Art From Foreign Private collections”, State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg, February-June 2008, Moscow - Exhibition Center "Tsaritsyno", June-July 2008, Palace Editions,2008, illustrated in the catalog p. 88 ill 45); illustrated in Русское Искусство magazine Moscow, 2015 v4 p 86.
[“In 1890s Valentin Serov revealed his talent as a portraitist. The main feature of his oeuvre was truthful psychological treatment of his models. Having mastered all the modern painterly media, he and his close associate painter Konstantin Korovin, strove to achieve virtuosity of each brush-stroke. All this enabled him to achieve peculiar spirituality of image, particularly felt in his portraits of children and young people. In the portrait of a sitting young girl the artist, presumably, depicted Alexandra Sergeyevna Botkina, daughter of a famous St. Petersburg doctor and collector Sergei Botkin. Serov was on friendly terms with the Botkins and painted and draw the members of the family many times. It is a well known fact that the painter made sketches very quickly, but he was very scrupulous when painting portraits, they took him much time. The delicate harmony of soft colors combined with the expressive rendering of the young woman’s glance lend the portrait an especially lyrical mood.”]
Provenance: Phillips Bayswater, 02.10.01, lot 75. Initial study for this portrait is in State Russian Museum, Petersburg - see illustration in "Serov" by D. Sarabianov, Art-Rodnik, Moscow, 2000, p.9. Serov is mentioning that portrait in his letters to A.P. Botkina twice – first 12.2.1900 promising “to grill your girl the day after tomorrow i.e. on Monday” and second 5.1.1901 in connection with the opening of “Mir Iskusstva” Exhibition [ Valentine Serov in Letters, Documents and Memoirs, Hudojnik RSFSR, Leningrad, 1985, v.1 pp 278, 316]. At the same time period Paolo Troubetzkoy also created a sculptural portrait of the girl (together with her mother) – see TROUBETZKOY Paolo 1866-1938. Il Quadrante Edizioni. Text by G. Piantoni, P. Venturoli. Verbania Pallanza 29.4-29.7. 1990. Torino, p148 ill 87. Compare also with the portrait of her mother, sitting at the sofa with same accessories, painted the same year – catalog of paintings, State Russian Museum, 1980, #5411, illustrated.. In original last quarter of 18th Century Italian (Emilia?)Louis Philippe style carved and gilded frame, octagonal, lion feet, cresting with putty head, acorn at the volute and flower festoons to the sides, with a canvas inner slip (provenance for the frame: Dorotheum Rahmen. Wien 10.04.2003, lot 414 - compare also LODI Roberto La Collezzione Di Cornici Catalog N4, Modena 1996, N47
Portrait of N. V. Muraviev (Minister of Justice in 1894-1905), Oil on canvas, 28x31.5 inches, signed in Cyrillic В Серов and dated 1905. Inscribed on stretcher “Muraviev N. V.” Утром 7 января  министром юстиции Н.В.Муравьевым была предпринята попытка вступить в переговоры с находившимся в подполье свящ. Г.Гапоном, который, по убеждению знавшего его уже не один год петербургского градоначальника генерала И.А.Фуллона, мог внести успокоение в ряды забастовщиков. Переговоры Н.В.Муравьева со свящ. Г.Гапоном состоялись днем в Министерстве Юстиции. По свидетельству самого Гапона, после того, как министр юстиции ознакомился с содержанием петиции ,"он ...простер руки с жестом отчаяния и воскликнул: "Но ведь вы хотите ограничить самодержавие!" "Да, — ответил я, — но это ограничение было бы на благо как для самого Царя, так и его народа. Если не будет реформ свыше, то в России вспыхнет революция, борьба будет длиться годами и вызовет страшное кровопролитие... Пусть простят всех политических и немедля созовут народных представителей" (Витте С.Ю.Воспоминания. T.1—3, М., 1962, 3, 32). Ультимативный характер радикальных политических требований гапоновской петиции сделал бессмысленным продолжение переговоров, но, выполняя взятое на себя во время переговоров обязательство, Н.В.Муравьев не отдал распоряжения о немедленном аресте свящ. Г.Гапона… Действиям "Собрания русских фабрично-заводских рабочих", организовавшего в Петербурге незаконную всеобщую забастовку с политическими требованиями, министр юстиции Н.В.Муравьев не сумел своевременно дать соответствующую правовую оценку, которая бы обязывала полицейские власти столицы предпринять активные меры против организаторов этой забастовки.” [ http://diak-kuraev.livejournal.com/265987.html ]
"At the morning of 7 January  Minister of Justice N.V.Muravev attempted to negotiate with a priest G.Gapon (who was in hiding), which, according to St. Petersburg mayor General I.A.Fullon (who knew him for years), could make comfort in the ranks of the strikers. N.V.Muravev talks with G.Gapon were held in the afternoon at the Ministry of Justice. According to a testimony of Gapon himself, after Justice Minister became acquainted with contents of petition, "... he put his hand with a gesture of despair, and exclaimed," Well, you want to limit the monarchy! " Yes, - I answered - but this limitation would benefit both to the Emperor and his people. If there are no reforms again, revolution breaks out in Russia, fight will go on for years and cause terrible bloodshed ... Free all political prisoners and immediately convene a national representatives forum" (Witte S.Yu.Vospominaniya. T.1-3, Moscow, 1962, 3, 32). Ultimate character of radical political demands in Gapon petition made no sense in continuing negotiations, but to honor his own obligation N.V.Muravev had not ordered the immediate arrest of G.Gapon ... Action "Assembly of Russian Factory Workers", in St. Petersburg by the general strike illegal political demands, the Thus Minister of Justice failed to timely provide a proper legal assessment of the situation, which would require police authorities of the capital to take active measures against the organizers of the strike. "[http://diak-kuraev.livejournal.com/265987.html]
After failing to prevent the “Bloody Sunday” N.V. Muraviev had been forced to resign as a Minister and finished his carrier dying in 1908 as an ambassador to Rome. His well known portraits had been also created by Kustodiev and Repin (as a participant in famous ”Заседание Государственного Совета”)