Johann Friedrich Anthing (German, ca. 1753–1805)
Cut paper, ink, watercolor, gold foil
sheet 17 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (45.3 x 60.6 cm)
Gift of Leopold Heinemann, 1948 (48.73.1)
David Roentgen (second from right) is received by Strekaloff (with the long pipe), private secretary to the empress, to close a contract for a substantial order of furniture. Stephan Fedorovitsch, the imperial cabinet registrar, takes notes. The medallions above show Catherine the Great flanked by Grand Duke Paul and Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna. The figure at left, who places a key in a strong box, wears the typical pointed cap of a German journeyman, and a plane on the table points to his profession. He could be Johann Wilhelm Kronrath, who accompanied David on his voyage to Russia. The boxes displayed nearby are typical examples of that extraordinary period when French market demands and the rising numbers of orders from Saint Petersburg overlapped, creating the heyday of the Roentgen workshop, with an annual turnover that often reached that of the renowned Meissen porcelain factory.