Fine antique CDV photo of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia (22 April 1847 - 17 February 1909) by Levitsky of St. Petersburg circa 1867 dressed casually with a walking cane. He was a son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia, a brother of Tsar Alexander III of Russia and the Senior Grand Duke of the House of Romanov during the reign of his nephew, Tsar Nicholas II.
Grand Duke Vladimir followed a military career and occupied important military positions during the reigns of the last three Russian Emperors. Interested in artistic and intellectual pursuits; he was appointed President of the Academy of Fine Arts. He functioned as a patron of many artists and as a sponsor of the Imperial ballet.
During the reign of his father, Tsar Alexander II, he was made Adjutant-General, senator in 1868 and a member of the Council of State in 1872. His brother, Alexander III, also promoted his career. He became a member of the Council of Ministers, Commander of the Imperial Guards Corps and Military Governor of Saint Petersburg. He tried to exert some influence over his nephew Tsar Nicholas II, but had to content himself with holding a rival court with his wife Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna at his palace in Saint Petersburg. The events of Bloody Sunday in 1905, while he was Military Governor of St Petersburg, tarnished his reputation. During the last years of his life, the rift between his family and that of Nicholas II widened. He died after a stroke in 1909. As of 2015 Vladimir Alexandrovich's great-granddaughter, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, claims the headship of the Romanov family.
Count Sergei Lvovich Levitsky (1819 - 1898), is considered one of the patriarchs of Russian photography and one of Europe's most important early photographic pioneers, inventors and innovators. Of noble birth, he was a cousin of Aleksandr Ivanovich Herzen, the writer, husband to Anna Antonovna and father to Rafail Sergeevich Levitsky (1847-1940), a Peredvizhniki artist who was court photographer to Tsar Nicholas II, the last emperor of Russia.
Considered the best of Russia's portrait photographers, the Levitsky studio photographed four generations of the Romanov dynasty. In 1877, it was awarded the title Photographer of their Royal Majesty.
He wrote memoirs in two volumes entitled, Reminiscences of an Old Photographer (1892) and How I Became a Photographer (1896). He is buried in St. Petersburg's Smolenskoye Cemetery. Upon his father's death in 1898, Rafail Levitsky continued the operation and tradition of the Levitsky portrait studio taking the now famous photos of Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra and their children Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna of Russia, Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, and Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia.
The Levitsky Studio was located in Moika River Embankment, 30 (1860s), Nevsky Prospect, 28 (1890s), and Kazanskaya Street, 3 (1898, the house is not preserved). It remained in operation until it was closed by the Soviets in 1918.
Size: 10.5 x 6.5 cm approx