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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1373
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1821-1847
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.08 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Beechcroft, Hay and Ledward | solicitors


Administrative/Biographical history:

George Dawe, 1781-1829, was a portrait painter and mezzotint engraver. Dawe was noticed by Alexander I and invited to go to St Petersburg to paint, on very profitable terms, more than 300 portraits of Russian generals who had distinguished themselves in the war against the emperor Napoleon I. Dawe stayed in Russia for about ten years (from spring 1819 to May 1828, and again briefly in spring 1829) and founded a 'portrait factory', confirming his reputation as an international painter who was prolific and rapid in production. For five years, until the completion of most of the Military Gallery (opened in the Winter Palace in December 1826 and now part of the Hermitage collection), Dawe's studio, including his brother Henry and brother-in-law Thomas Wright (who married Mary Margaret Dawe in St Petersburg in 1825), issued many engravings after the originals which were painted by Dawe himself with the assistance of two Russian apprentices, A. Polyakov and V.-A. Golicke. The engravings were protected by copyright, granted to Dawe by the emperor. The artist had an unparalleled success in Russia: in the winter of 1826 he held a solo exhibition in Moscow; Nicholas I chose him as court painter for the coronation ceremony of the same year; in 1820 Dawe was elected an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, where in 1827 he was allowed to exhibit 150 portraits. The next year he was appointed the first portrait painter at court and in 1829 accompanied Grand Duke Constantine to Warsaw.

Source: G. Andreeva, 'Dawe, George (1781-1829)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1821-1847, collected by the solicitors in the course of their work, comprising lease for parcel of ground (measurements and abuttals given) at north west corner of White Conduit Fields, Islington and declaration of trust for the same premises at White Conduit Fields as well as a parcel of land and two messuages on north side of Speldhurst Street, Sandhills, Saint Pancras, both premises owned by George Dawe and Mary Margaret Dawe, of Saint Petersburg; and administration with will annexed of Samuel Serle, late of Brentford, commander in maritime service, East India Company.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

3 items arranged chronologically.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright rests with the City of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 1977 (ACC/1373).

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July to October 2009

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