1780s. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Read Note.
Lvov, Nikolay Alexandrovich (1751-1803), Russian architect, painter, poet and musician. He was born into the family of a Ukrainian landowner and was educated at home. He entered the diplomatic service first, but then was appointed to the Post Office Department. He designed and built several buildings, such as the Post Office in St. Petersburg, the Cathedral of St. Boris and St. Gleb in Torzhok, several country manors, and the Priory Palace in Gatchina. He held prominent positions at the courts of Catherine II and Pavel I. Lvov made the designs of the medals for the Russian orders of St. Vladimir and St. Anne. He was a skilled drawer and engraver, wrote poetry, composed music and published the first ever collection of Russian folk songs. Lvov was the leader of a circle of poets, artists and musicians, many of whom were influenced by him. He was married to Maria Alexeyevna Dyakova (1755-1807) daughter of Chief Prosecutor Senator Aleksey Afanasyevich Dyakov and Avdotya Petrovna, née Princess Myshetskaya. She had two sisters: Darya, who married G. R. Derzhavin, and Alexandra, who married V. V. Kapnist. She secretly married Nikolay Alexandrovich Lvov in 1779, without receiving her parents' permision. Her parents allowed the marriage to go ahead only in 1783. When everybody gathered in the church for the wedding ceremony, the couple announced that they had already been married 4 years. A valet and a maid were wedded instead. Nikolay and Maria lived together happily and had 5 children.
See: Dmitry Levitzky. Portrait of Maria Dyakova. Portrait of Nikolay Lvov, Architect, Painter and Poet. Portrait of M. A. Lvova.