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Entirely in keeping with Nattier’s purposeful flattery, with the general vainglory of his patrons and the particular wishfulness of the young everywhere and always, Nattier, commissioned by Louis XV to paint the portraits of the five princesses, his daughters, showed the youngest of them, Sophie,–then a schoolgirl at the Abbey Fontevrault–as the mature woman that we see.
“Madame Sophie” is Sophie-Elizabeth-Justine, fifth daughter of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska. During the period of the three youngest princesses’ education at the Abbey Fontevrault, the king sent Nattier to paint their portraits as a surprise gift to their mother. The daughters of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska his queen were named Mesdames Sophie, Victoire, Louise, Adelaide, and Elizabeth. Their portraits hang at Versailles.
Vladimir Illich Ulyanov Lenin
Vladimir Illich Ulyanov (later known as Lenin) was born in Simbirsk, Russia, on 10th April, 1870. His father, Ilya Ulyanov, a local schools inspector, held conservative views and was a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church. Lenin was deeply influenced by the revolutionary political views of his older brother, Alexander Ulyanov, who introduced him to the ideas of Karl Marx.
Lenin was educated at the Simbirsk Gymnasium. His headmaster was Fyodor Kerensky, the father of Alexander Kerensky. Although Lenin despised the conservative views of his teachers he still managed to do well in his examinations.
At the of seventeen Lenin read the utopian novel, What is to be Done? by Nikolai Chernyshevsky. Along with Alexander Ulyanov and Karl Marx, Chernyshevsky was the greatest influence on his early political development. In 1887 Lenin’s brother, Alexander Ulyanov, a member of the People’s Will, was executed for his part in the plot to kill Tsar Alexander III. As the brother of a state criminal, attempts were made to stop Lenin from entering university. Eventually he was allowed to study law at Kazan University.
While at university Lenin became involved in politics. After one protest demonstration he was arrested and taken to the local police station. One of the police officers asked: “Why are you rebelling, young man? After all, there is a wall in front of you.” Lenin confidently replied: “The wall is tottering, you only have to push it for it to fall over.” Lenin was now expelled from Kazan University and so he went to St. Petersburg and studied as an external student. After passing his law exams in 1891, Lenin started practising law in Samara.
Lenin returned to St. Petersburg in 1893. He continued his involvement in politics and in 1895 went to Switzerland to meet George Plekhanov, Pavel Axelrod, Vera Zasulich and Lev Deich and other members of the Liberation of Labour group. When Lenin returned to Russia, Lenin and a group of friends, including Jules Martov and Nadezhda Krupskaya, formed the Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class.
In 1896 Lenin was arrested and sentenced to three years internal exile in Siberia. His close colleague, Nadezhda Krupskaya, joined Lenin in Shushenskoye and they married in July, 1898. While living in exile Lenin wrote The Development of Capitalism in Russia, The Tasks of Russian Social Democrats, as well as articles for various socialist journals. Lenin and Krupskaya also translated from English to Russian, The Theory and Practice of Trade Unionism by Sidney Webb and Beatrice Webb.
The popularity of Britain’s self-taught Jack Vettriano earned him the nickname “The People’s Painter.” Originally from a Scottish town where he planned to work as an engineer, Vettriano fell in love with art. In creating his art, he listens to music that makes him feel uncomfortable to create a mood that fuels his edgy, mysterious creations. Vettriano’s sales broke a record at Scotland Sotheby’s, and he has outsold Dali, Van Gogh and Monet.
Printed on Fine Museum Etching paper, this edition is limited to 250 prints. Born in Fife, Scotland in 1951, Jack Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint. In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy and his new life as an artist began from that point on. Over the last twenty years, interest in Vettriano’s work has grown consistently. There have been sell-out solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London and New York.
Born in Fife, Scotland in 1951, Jack Vettriano left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, a girlfriend gave him a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint.
In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy and his new life as an artist began from that point on.
Over the last twenty years, interest in Vettriano’s work has grown consistently. There have been sell-out solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and New York.
2004 was an exceptional year in Vettriano’s career; his best known painting, The Singing Butler was sold at Sotheby’s for close to £750,000; he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Visual Arts and was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary, entitled ‘Jack Vettriano: The People’s Painter’.
From 1994-2007, Vettriano was represented by Portland Gallery in London but the relationship ended in June 2007. Since then, Vettriano has been focusing on a variety of private projects, including the launch of a new book, and painting of a portrait of Zara Phillips as part of a charity fund-raising project for Sport Relief, the experience of which was captured in a documentary broadcast on BBC1 in March 2008. Vettriano divides his time between his homes in Fife, London and Nice.