In June 2015 on a beautiful summer evening, Alexander Kotchoubey visited the ancient Capital of the Cossack Hetmanate, Baturyn which is located in northern Ukraine and where the Kotchoubey’s made their first mark in history under the leadership of General Judge Vassyl Leontievitch. The visit, which was highlighted on the museum complex’s website (see: http://www.baturin-capital.gov.ua/news/711-vizit-oleksandra-kochubeya-do-baturina.html) was marked by the fact that it was the first visit by a Kotchoubey since 1918, the year that the mansion of Vassyl Leontievitch was confiscated by the Bolsheviks from its family guardian, Vassili Petrovitch Kotchoubey (-1940). The Kotchoubey mansion and to a lesser extent its grounds began a century long decline into ruin until it was restored over the past decade and brought to its former glory by the efforts of museum director Natalia Borisovna Rebrova and her great team with the support of Ukrainian government funds and private donations.
Alexander also visited the restored palace of his great great grandfather, the last Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovskiy (Count Kirill Razoumovsky) and the Hetman’s restored tomb in a near by church which had been desecrated by the Bolsheviks but loving brought back to its former glory in the last decade.
The symbolic visit was a testament to the dedication of museum staff not only to research and restore the glorious history of ‘Malorussia’ but the importance of making the connections between these places and their history and the living descendants who have been dispersed across the world.
Currently in New York until April 18th there is an exhibit entitled, “In the Studio: Photographs” at the Gagosian Gallery flagship gallery on the Upper East Side. 980 Madison Avenue near 76th Street, Manhattan; +1 212-744-2313, gagosian.com
The exhibit is made up of 143 photographs dating from 1856 to the late 20th century and is the work of curator Peter Galassi, a former curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. One piece is particularly interesting to the family as it is by André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri and entitled “Kotchoubey,” 1857-58. The photograph would have been part of a series taken of members of a wedding party who arrived in Paris in 1858 to celebrate the marriage of two widows, Nikolai Arkadievitch Kotchoubey and his bride Elena Sergeievna (née princess Volkonskaya). They were married in the Russian Orthodox chapel attached to the Russian Embassy on today’s rue de Berri as the cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky on rue Daru was yet to be completed. The picture of the boy, if indeed it is a Kotchoubey is difficult to identify as the young man pictured would have been born in the late 1840s or at the latest 1850 and there are no records of any Kotchoubeys born in those years. Alternatively, the date may be incoorect or it is a relative from the bride and groom’s extensive family.
A review of the show along with a sister exhibit on art is available on the New York Times website. It is written by journalist Roberta Smith, “Review: The Artist’s Studio, From Refuge to Gallery, in Shows at the Gagosian” from the February 26th, edition of the paper (the link is: http://nyti.ms/183ecQx)
Here is an invitation, painted by Mikhail Zichy, to a costume ball in honour of Emperor Alexander II In February 1865 just ahead of the Great Easter Lent. It was held at the palace of the fabulously rich Princess Elena Pavlovna Kotchoubey (née Bibikova) (1812-1888) who was already a widow twice over following the death of her second husband Prince Vassili Victorovitch Kotchoubey (1811-1850) 15 years earlier. It is certain that he was there in spirit as the invitation suggests….
The author of this muscial number was Princess Elisabeth Vassilievna Kotschoubey (née Kotschoubey) (1821-1897) who was a well known composer of both Russian and French popular songs in Russia and later in France. She was married to her third cousin, Prince Leon Viktorovitch Kotschoubey (1810-1890) and they died childless. Together they bought the land in Nice to build the Palais Kotchoubey. Construction on the building began in 1878 and four years later it was still unfinished. At that point, it was sold to an English family, Thompson as the couple lost patience with the pace of the works. The Kotschoubeys bought another property in Mont Boron above Cap Ferrat. Ironically, the palace was completed by its new English owners but today is still known as the Kotschoubey Palace or the Musée des Beaux Arts in Nice.
From The Derrydale Game Cookbook By Louis P. de Gouy
Casserole of Partridge à la Kotschoubey
…The original recipe requires the larding of the bird with small sticks of black truffles. This is optional. Cook a cleaned, wiped dry partridge in 2 tablespoons of butter, in a casserole placed over a medium-sized fire until golden browned on all sides, for 30 minutes and covered, turning the bird often (the bird should be trussed as you would an ordinary chicken). Turn the bird in an earthenware casserole. Surround it with a generous half cup of cooked Brussels sprouts, first parboiled then cooked in brown butter; add also 1/4 cup of small dices or cubes of salt pork, rather lean, sautéed also in butter. Pour over 3 tablespoons of Demiglacé sauce. Adjust the cover and set the dish in boiling water for 5 long minutes to mellow. Serve in Casserole.
Again from the horticultural passions of Prince Leon Victorovitch Kotschoubey another species of plants named for the family: Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus is a member of the cactus family, found in Mexico where its natural habitat is the hot desert. (see: wikipedia entry)
Named after Prince Lev Victorovitch Kotschoubey who was a passionate horticulturalist at his family’s estate of Dikanka and in France where he was made a member of the French Horticultural Society in 1851.
It is described as a hybrid perpetural which was bred in 1852 and is described by Marest as bright carmine-red, vividly shaded, large, double, very beautifully cupped, effectual.
Definition: a rose-red mineral consisting of a chrome-bearing clinochlore found in the district of Ufaleisk, Southern Ural Russia which was discovered by the emininent mineralogist Piotr Aradievitch Kotschoubey