Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, 2nd Prince of San Donato

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Pavel Pavlovitch Demidov

Count Pavel Pavlovich Demidov, 2nd Prince of San Donato (Russian: Павел Павлович Демидов; 9 October 1839, Frankfurt am Main – 26 January 1885, Pratolino, Florence) was a Russian industrialist, jurist, philanthropist and nobleman of the Demidov family.


Paul Demidoff, Prince of San Donato (Gustave Ricard, 1859)

His parents were Aurora Karamzina and her husband Pavel Nikolaievich Demidov.

His first marriage was on 1 June 1867 to Princess Maria Elimovna Meshcherskaya (Saint Petersburg, 28 February 1844 - San Donato (or Vienna, per Ferrand), 8 August 1868). She died two days after giving birth to a son, Elim Pavlovich Demidov, 3rd Prince of San Donato, at Hietzing in the suburbs of Vienna on 6 August 1868. Her loss had a lasting effect on Pavel, who remained inconsolable for a long time, spending a long while in the room in the Villa San Donato where his wife's dresses were kept to try to recover her presence.

Princess Demidoff (Helene Petrovna Demidova, Princess of San Donato), John Singer Sargent, 1895-1896

In Saint Petersburg on 2 June 1871 he remarried to Princess Elena Petrovna Trubetskaya (Saint Petersburg, 25 September 1853 - Odessa, 28 July 1917), with whom he had six children:

Pavel (1879-1909), Avrora (1873-1904), Maria (1876-1955) and Anatoli (1874-1943). (Alexei Harlamov, 1883)

They decided San Donato was too full of memories of his first wife and so moved to Villa Pratolino (now known as Villa Demidoff). They ended up selling San Donato, and it was ceded on 5 November 1881 to Gaston Mestayer (a French business magnate), with the gardens sold separately to Nemesio Papucci and Rosselli Del Turco. A large part of the enormous Demidov collection of artworks housed in 14 rooms at San Donato were thus dispersed in several sales and memorable public auctions, even the works gathered in the "musée napoléonien" created on Elba by his uncle Anatoly Nikolaievich Demidov, 1st Prince of San Donato and the souvenirs that had (mostly) been ceded to Anatole by his father-in-law Jérôme Bonaparte.

Arms of Pavel Demidov

Owning hundreds of factories in Russia, millions of square kilometres of land and palaces in Russia, France and Italy, Pavel was considered as one of the richest men in Europe. He developed the family fortunes and inherited Anatole's title of Prince of San Donato after the latter's death without legitimate issue in 1870 (with the title recognised by king Victor Emmanuel II of Italy two years later). He served with the Red Cross rather than the Russian military forces during the Russo-Turkish War and in 1883 he published the pro-Jewish "The Jewish Question in Russia".

External links[edit]

Italian nobility
Preceded by
Anatoly Demidov
Prince of San Donato
Succeeded by
Elim Demidov