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Retold from a short memoir of Osterman-Tolstoy by his aide-de-camp Lazhechnikov (who should have totally written a book about him, considering what obvious fanboy he was).

Once, when living in St.-Petersburg after the war, Osterman received two letters: one from a woman whom he called a friend telling him of the death of her husband; the other from the commander of a Grenadier regiment who "adopted" Osterman's pet bear. The Count dictated the answers to Lazhechnikov, both started with the words "My dear friend" without their names. He signed them and telling him ther adresses, told him to seal the letters and post them. Lazhechnikov adressed the letters wrongly. The Count's female friend did not send a reply, but the regiment commander returned the letter noting that he must have received it by mistake. Fortunately for Lazhechnikov, Osterman did nothing except giving him that note to read with a very stony face.


OMG, I wish that woman did send a reply. XD Poor, poor Lazhechnikov. And yes, Osterman had some pet bears. :D (Also apparently he had a white eagle and a white crow. O_o )

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This painting by Kivshenko represents the military council held at the village of Fili right after the Battle of Borodino. It was there that the decision to abandon Moscow to the French was made. Kutuzov had summoned his principal generals to it and though most of them opposed the abandonment of Moscow, and in fact proposed to attack Napoleon's forces, he ordered the retreat. Famously one of the Generals that did support his idea was Count Osterman-Tolstoy who, according to some sources said: 'Moscow does not constitute Russia: our purpose is not simply the defence of the capital, but the whole country, and for that the main object is preserving the army.'


In the Russian 1967 movie "War and Peace" when the scene opens at the council in Fili, the whole set-up copies this painting almost exactly.

Count A. I. Osterman-Tolstoy is the fifth from the left, the one who is leaning back against the wall by the window. I absolutely love the way he is placed in the painting, with the sunlight almost giving a sort of glow to him. (Yes, I am a fangirl! XD)

Click the painting for a bigger version. :D (So you can see pretty Count Osterman-Tolstoy better. ^_^)




The Complete Who is Who on this painting )

Portraits

Jul. 13th, 2009 09:26 am
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Finally watched the new episode of Eureka! My favourite quote of the episode: 'You speak Dutch?!'

Was up the whole night, so that's what is responsible for the following.

See that userpic? It comes from this portrait. Portrait of General Osterman-Tolstoy (also a Count and a former governor of St.-Petersburg (squees fannishly because OMG, he was pretty! ^_^;;) Anyhow, I just gotta share this anecdote of his life, because it's just so so so... erm, something! XD

In August of 1813, during the Battle of Kulm a cannonball shattered Osterman's left arm up to the shoulder. While waiting for the operation, Ostermann was listening to three doctors arguing in Latin how to amputate the arm better. Finally one of them, the youngest, turned to look at the General and saw a mocking expression in his eyes.
- It was useless, gentlemen, to speak in Latin, - said the Doctor, - the Count knows it better than we do!
To which, Ostermann said:
- You are good! Here, you will cut, no one else!

(sighs lovingly)

Count Osterman-Tolstoy.



 

More paintings. Of Welly and others.  )

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