DEMIDOFF (Anatole de) - 1812-1870. L.A.S....

Lot 17
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DEMIDOFF (Anatole de) - 1812-1870. L.A.S....

DEMIDOFF (Anatole de) - 1812-1870. L.A.S. ""D"", slnd, 1 p. in-8, to a princess: ""I am very sorry, my dear Princess, for the bad news you give me of poor Jerome; if he is really in the state you say he is in, the best we can wish for him is to die. I am in despair of not being able to indicate the evenings I would stay in San Donato. And from now until today in the 8th grade I am 'impegnato' as the Italians say. [...]"" Anatole Demidoff (1812-1870, in Russian: Анатолий Николаевич Демидов), a Russian industrialist and patron of the arts, the first prince of San Donato, had one of the greatest art collections of the time, inherited from his father and which he considerably enlarged, going so far as to devote 14 rooms to him in his villa in San Donato (near Florence), which also contained a library of 40,000 volumes.
Through his marriage to Princess Matilda, Prince Demidoff was the son-in-law of Jerome Bonaparte (1784-1860). He was created ""Prince of San Donato"" by decree of October 20, 1840, in order to allow the princess to keep her title, which was not recognized in Russia. The marriage was a failure: the prince, jealous of the closeness between Matilda and Tsar Nicholas (their mothers were both princesses of Württemberg), was violent towards her and refused to leave his mistress. Mathilde fled to Paris in 1846 with the jewels of her dowry and the separation was authorised by the Tsar in 1847.
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