1758. Schmidt, Georg Friedrich. Item #78
Engraving of Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst (1690-1747), titled in Cyrillic at the bottom (На пьедестале: Божїею милостїю. Христїанъ Августъ князь Ангалтской, герцог Саксонской. Ангрїи и Вестфалїи графъ. государь Асканїи серветской. Внизу: Писалъ Ант: Песне [Antoine Pesne]; Коп: съ оригинала Г: Шмита [G. Schmidt] Д: Герасимовъ [D. Gerasimov]), 1758, measuring 515 x 370 mm [plate size]. Made by G. F. Schmidt engraving from the original portrait of Antoine Pesne. Christian August is depicted in armor and mantle, with the Prussian Order of the Black Eagle.
Georg Friedrich Schmidt (1712 - 1775) was a German engraver and designer. He studied art in Berlin under Busch, and under Nicolas Larmessin in Paris. In 1744 he was appointed engraver to Frederick II in Berlin, and in 1757 he was summoned to Saint Petersburg by the Empress Elizabeth to engrave her portrait and to organize a school of engraving. His engravings and etchings in the style of Rembrandt rank with the best work of the eighteenth century in Germany. He engraved about 200 plates, the best of which are “The Empress Elizabeth of Russia,” “Count Nicholas Eszterházy,” “Pierre Mignard,” “The Virgin and Child with Saint John,” “The Raising of Jairus's Daughter,” and “The Mother of Rembrandt.”
Gerasimov Dmitry (1737-1784) - Engraver, portraitist, son of a soldier of the Semyonovsky regiment Petrov Gerasim, grandson of the painter and miniaturist Musikisky G. S. In 1748 he was sent to the Academy of Sciences from the garrison school. From 1749 he was engaged in the Drawing Chamber under the leadership of I. Grimmel, from 1753 - in the Engraving Chamber of I Sokolov. In early 1759 he was transferred to the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he continued his studies with G. Schmidt. From 1767 he taught arithmetic and geometry to younger students at Imperial Academy of Arts. In 1771 he was dismissed from service on his own petition.
Antoine Pesne (1683 – 1757) was a French-born court painter of Prussia. Starting in the manner of baroque, he became one of the fathers of rococo in painting. His work represents a link between the French school and the Frederican rococo style. Born in Paris, Pesne first studied art under his father and uncle. From 1704 to 1710 he received a stipend for advanced training at the Académie Royalein Italy. In 1710, Pesne was called to Berlin by King Frederick I of Prussia. The king had seen and liked a painting of a German nobleman Pesne had completed in Venice and wanted Pesne to complete a study of himself. Upon the death of the king in 1713, Pesne worked in the courts of Dresden and Dessau, and later visited London and Paris, where he was made a full member of the Academie Royale in 1720. While there, he painted a portrait of a well-known collector Pierre-Jean Mariette in 1723. Mariette had extensive international connections with other artists and, importantly with patrons. In 1722, Frederick had been reinstated as crown prince by his father, Frederick William II and took up residence in Rheinsberg. Frederick William himself had little use for painting and art for its own sake; he was far more interested in soldiers, soldiering, and building the army. He did, however, appoint Pesne as director of the Berlin Academy of the Arts in 1722. At that point, Pesne became famous for his portraits of the Prussian royal family and their households. Among his most famous is his portrait of Frederick William, The Soldier King, (1733). Many of his portraits hang in Berlin museums and in Charlottenburg Palace. These include (among others) his portraits of the first two kings of Prussia, Frederich I and Frederick William I, and members of the latter's family.
Rovinsky, D. Detailed dictionary of Russian engraved portraits. Saint-Petersburg, 1886-1889.
Morozov, A.V. Catalog of my collection of Russian engraved and lithographed portraits. Moscow, 1912.