Count (later Prince) Andrey Kirillovich Razumovsky (Russian: Андре́й Кири́ллович Разумо́вский, Rasumovsky; Ukrainian: Андрі́й Кири́лович Розумо́вський, Andriy Kyrylovych Rozumovskyi; 2 November 1752 – 23 September 1836) was a Russian diplomat who spent many years of his life in Vienna. His name is transliterated differently in different English sources, including spellings Razumovsky, Rasoumoffsky, and Rasoumoffsky, the last of which being used by the British Government for its official translation from the French of the Paris peace treaty of 1815 and the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna.
Razumovsky was the son of Cyril Razumovsky, the last hetman of Ukraine, and nephew of Aleksey Grigorievich Razumovsky, called the Night Emperor. The elder Rasumovsky's late Baroque palace on the Nevsky Prospekt is a minor landmark in Saint Petersburg. In 1792 Andres Kyrillovitch was appointed the Tsar's diplomatic representative to the Habsburg court in Vienna, one of the crucial diplomatic posts during the Napoleonic era. He was a chief negotiator during the Congress of Vienna that resettled Europe in 1814, and asserted Russian rights in Poland. In 1808 he established a house string quartet consisting of Ignaz Schuppanzigh, Louis Sina, Franz Weiss, and Joseph Linke. Razumovsky was an accomplished amateur violinist, and also known as a competent torban (Ukrainian theorbo) player. Of four torbans known to have been in his possession one is preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. His commissioning three string quartets from Beethoven in 1806 was the act that has made his name familiar. He asked Beethoven to include a "Russian" theme in each quartet: Beethoven included Ukrainian themes in the first two. Razumovsky was the brother-in-law of another of Beethoven's patrons, Prince Joseph Lobkowitz. His first wife, Countess Elisabeth von Thun was a sister in law of Count Carl von Lichnowsky.
The Palais Rasumofsky
He built a magnificent Neoclassic palace worthy of the representative of Alexander I, at his own expense and to the designs of Louis Montoyer, on the Landstraße, quite close to the city, and filled it with antiquities and modern works of art. In the morning of 31 December 1814, during the preparation of a ball with the Tsar Alexander I as guest of honor, a fire broke out in a temporary ballroom extension, setting the ballroom ablaze and burning out roomfuls of art in the back wing of the palace. Even though he was raised to prince the following year, Rasumovsky was never the same. He lived in seclusion in Vienna until his death in 1836.
Notes and references
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- Zerkalo Nedeli (Mirror Weekly) № 38, 1996 (in Russian)
- Portrait of Andrey Kyrillovich Razumovsky, aged 24, in the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne, Australia) The evolution of the three Partitions of Poland during the end of the 18th century, leading to some 125 years of polish political eclipse of the formerly secular powerful Lithuanian-Polish Kingdom until 1918 can be seen in the well informed page: