Friday, July 24, 2009

Portrait of Tsarevich Alexei

A portrait by Sergei Egornov of the last Tsarevich, Alexei Nikolaevich. The paintings dates from 1911, so Alexis must have been around seven years old. He will be next on the list of short Romanov biographies, but meanwhile here is a description of this talented but sickly and tragic young boy:
He had what we Russians usually call "a golden heart." He easily felt an attachment to people, he liked them and tried to do his best to help them, especially when it seemed to him that someone was unjustly hurt. His love, like that of his parents, was based mainly on pity. Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich was an awfully lazy, but very capable boy (I think, he was lazy precisely because he was capable), he easily grasped everything, he was thoughtful and keen beyond his years ... Despite his good nature and compassion, he undoubtedly promised to possess a firm and independent character in the future.

(Colonel Mordinov, ADC of Tsar Nicholas II)

4 comments:

MadMonarchist said...

It is, of course, purely speculative on my part but I cannot help but think if Alexei had only been given his rightful chance he would have been just the sort of Tsar Russia needed at the time. So sad...

Matterhorn said...

Personality-wise, that may be true, as I think he was a pretty level-headed boy. But I don't know that he would have had the health for it.

Elisa said...

Thanks for all your wonderful posts on the imperial Russian children.
There's a beautiful children's book about Anastasia which contains some of her artwork and letters as well as photos of the family and other related items.

Matterhorn said...

Thank you, Elisa! That sounds lovely.