Rasputin Caricature


Rasputin Caricature, drawn here in 1914 in the Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg, age 45.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian mystic, visionary, prophet and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Emperor Nicholas II, the last Tzar of Russia, and gained considerable influence in late imperial Russia.

He had a religious conversion experience after taking a pilgrimage to a monastery in 1897. He has been described as a monk or as a “strannik” (wanderer or pilgrim), though he held no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church.

He traveled to St. Petersburg in 1903 and became a society figure and met the Tsar and Tsarina, Alexandra, on November 1, 1905. At some point in 1906, the royal family became convinced that Rasputin possessed the power to heal the only son of Tsar Nicholas II, Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia.

During the summer of 1912, Alexei developed a hemorrhage in his thigh and groin after a jolting carriage ride near the royal hunting grounds at Spala, which caused a large hematoma. In severe pain and delirious with fever, the Tsarevich appeared to be close to death. In desperation, the Tsarina sent Rasputin (who was in Siberia) a telegram, asking him to pray for Alexei.
Rasputin wrote back quickly, telling the Tsarina that “God has seen your tears and heard your prayers. Do not grieve. The Little One will not die. Do not allow the doctors to bother him too much.” The boy’s bleeding stopped the following day.

The royal family’s belief that Rasputin possessed the power to heal Alexei brought him considerable status and power at court.
Rasputin used his status and power to full effect, accepting bribes and sexual favors from admirers and working diligently to expand his influence. He soon became a controversial figure; he was accused by his enemies of religious heresy and rape, was suspected of exerting undue political influence over the tsar, and was even rumored to be having an affair with the Tsarina.

The high point of Rasputin’s power was in 1915 when Nicholas II left St. Petersburg to oversee Russian armies fighting World War I, increasing both Alexandra and Rasputin’s influence over the government. Russian defeats mounted during the war, however, and both Rasputin and Alexandra became increasingly unpopular.

A group of nobles led by Prince Felix Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and right-wing politician Vladimir Purishkevich decided that Rasputin’s influence over the Tsarina had made him a threat to the empire, and they concocted a plan in December 1916 to assassinate him.
On December 30th, Yusupov invited Rasputin to his home shortly after midnight and ushered him into the basement. Yusupov offered Rasputin tea and cakes which had been laced with cyanide. Rasputin initially refused the cakes but then began to eat them and, to Yusupov’s surprise, he did not appear to be affected by the poison. Rasputin then asked for some Madeira wine (which had also been poisoned) and drank three glasses, but still showed no sign of distress.
At around 2:30 am, Yusupov excused himself to go upstairs, where his fellow conspirators were waiting. He took a revolver from Dmitry Pavlovich, then returned to the basement and shot him once in the chest.

An hour later the conspirators went back to the basement to ensure that Rasputin was dead. Suddenly, Rasputin leapt up and attacked Yusupov, who freed himself with some effort and fled upstairs. Rasputin followed and made it into the palace’s courtyard before being shot again twice, beaten with chains and finally collapsing into a snowbank. The conspirators then wrapped his body in cloth, drove it to the Petrovsky Bridge, and dropped it into the Malaya Nevka River.

Rasputin was 47.

Two months later the House of Romanov fell in the February Revolution of 1917. Nicholas abdicated on behalf of himself and his son. He was imprisoned by the Bolsheviks and executed with all of his family in July 1918 in Yekaterinburg.

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All prints are produced using Giclee printing process which is used for archival art reproduction. This process uses fade-resistant archival pigment-based ink which lasts over 100 years. All prints are printed on 310GSM, Luxurious mould-made, 100% cotton rag Archival Certified watercolor paper.

Archival Conservation Mat is included with your purchase. Mat is a high quality, 4 ply (1/16″) surround mat. These frame mats are acid-free & Lignin-free made with 100% virgin alpha-cellulose surface, core and backing papers. So your caricature with mat will fit into a standard comparable frame either “20” x 24″ or “16” x 20″ depending on the print size, (frame not included). Price also includes a Backer Board.

32″ x 40″ stretch canvas print is produced by Giclee printing process and are hand stretched over heavy duty American made white pine. The canvas print is varnished twice after printing. The canvas prints are ready to hang (complete with hanging wire).

Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 20 × .25 in
Print Size

32" x 40" Stretched Canvas Print $495, 20" x 24" Stretched Canvas Print $330, 11" x 14" Watercolor Print $95, 16" x 20" Watercolor Print $185