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Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi (1841-1910). Painter of Greek origin from the Crimea

1891-1895. Touring the Russian Empire

A deferred invitation from the Tsar

“One more story, just one more and then my history’s completed,

all my chronicles written down and my sinner’s debt repaid to God.”

Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin

For Coutalianos’s tours in Russia, the most reliable source is the interview of his son Ellin in “Patris” (1933) newspaper. When Coutalianos was in Russia, the Greek, according to some calculations, must have been only 6 years old, but the content of his interview must be a transfer of his father’s stories to him. One of the most interesting incidents of that time was the invitation extended by the Tsar himself to Coutalianos, for the athlete to go to the imperial palace for a demonstration. However, this invitation was canceled almost immediately, because Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna of Russia (1870-1891) who had been crowned Princess of Greece and Denmark died on September 24, 1891 at the age of 21.
Despite the tragedy of the event and the misfortune of Panagis, this fact in itself makes our information reliable and we are sure that at least on the date of the princess’s death, Coutalianos was in Russian territory.

Indicative map of Coutalianos movements during the period 1891. At that time the lands of today’s Ukraine and Georgia belonged to the Russian Empire and in place of Turkey was the Ottoman Empire.
Boat on the Black Sea. Work painted by the hand of F. Kontoglou.
2nd period 1891-1895
The city of Taganrog at the time when Coutalianos visited it.
The Greek ship-owner Maris Vallianos, who financially supported Coutalianos and honored him.
Photo from the castle wasll of Yeni Kale, a town visited by Coutalianos while touring Crimean cities.
The majestic Metropolitan theater of the Russian city of Rostov-on- Don. According to testimonies, Coutalianos performed in this theater.
The Berdyansk Theater, as it was at the time Coutalianos visited it.
The seaside town Theodosia (or Feodosia), painted by the wonderful painter Ivan Aivazovsky.
Coutalianos also passed through this city.
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