In the previous post, we saw Pavel Fedotov’s lovely painting of Nadezhda Zhdanovich at the fortepiano. The Zhdanoviches were a large, close-knit family, quite likely Fedotov’s favourite, for he painted several of its members over the years.
The Zhdanoviches were a poor noble family, happy for the most part, but stricken with ill fortune -many of them died young. There were eight children, four boys and four girls, born to the patriarch, Pyotr Zhdanovich, a minor courtier. The boys, following family tradition, joined the cadet corps, while the girls were educated at a school for the lesser nobility.