[Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski. King of Poland.]
Stipple, rare. Sheet size: 127 x 100mm (5 x 4"). Trimmed inside platemark. Laid on backing sheet.
A half length portrait of Stanislaus August Poniatowski (1732 - 1798), inclined slightly to left, with powdered hair, fur coat with a star of the White Eagle, and a white ruffle. In an oval. Poniatowski was the last King and Grand Duke of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–95) and was recognised as a great patron of the arts and sciences and a supporter of progressive reforms. Arriving at the Russian imperial court in Saint Petersburg in 1755, he became romantically involved with the twenty-six-year-old Catherine Alexeievna (the future Empress Catherine the Great). With her support, in 1764 he was elected king of Poland. Against expectations, he attempted to reform and strengthen the ailing Commonwealth. His efforts were met with external opposition from Prussia, Russia and Austria, all interested in keeping the Commonwealth weak. The reforms were overthrown following a succession of wars which led to the Partitions of Poland, marking the end of the Commonwealth. Stripped of all meaningful power, Poniatowski abdicated in November 1795 and spent the last years of his life in semi-captivity in Saint Petersburg.
[Ref: 34388] £120.00