Antoine-Jean Gros was commissioned by the boy’s father to paint this spirited piece Equestrian Portrait of Prince Boris Yusupov in 1809.
Primarily known as an Academic painter of Napoleon, Gros never saw Russia and so paints an imaginary landscape here. The horse rears up energetically while the young prince manages the reins adeptly with his left hand. In his right hand is the bow with which he is hunting. He looks back to what we can assume is the rest of his party, which tells us of a real or imagined capacity for leadership.
Antoine-Jean Gros’s Equestrian Portrait of Prince Boris Yusupov is in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Russia.