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Pavel P. Svinin

1810s U.S. East Coast as seen by Russian Diplomat Pavel SvinyinCreated by: PICRYLDated: 1812
The Traveler's First View of New York—The Battery and Flagstaff
Pavel Petrovich Svinin (Павел Петрович Свиньин; also transliterated Svin'in or Svinyin) was born in Russia on June 8, 1787. He attended the School for the Nobility and the Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

After entering the foreign service at the age of 18, Svinin was given the opportunity to travel around the world. In 1811, his travels brought him to the United States as the Secretary to the Russian Consul-General, based in Philadelphia.

Svinin traveled along the East Coast from Maine to Virginia. Along the way, he sketched the American landscape, painted watercolors, and wrote articles. He was fond of the similarities between the United States and his home country including tolerance for different religions. American steamboats and the public education system were also favorite subjects for the Russian diplomat.

Although he did not like the system of political parties, Svinin admired the American form of government. In an article entitled "A Glance at the Republic of the United American States," Svinin made an indirect reference to Thomas Jefferson's most famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence. "The Americans have shown themselves fully worthy of enjoying those rights of true liberty and happiness," Svinin wrote, "the first foundation of the spirit of their government, which ... excels in this respect all the ancient and modern republics."

Pavel Svinin left the United States in June of 1813. Following his travels, he published his memoirs and watercolors, in addition to other illustrations from his American visit. His watercolors included images of Natural Bridge and Niagara Falls. A large collection of Svinin's work can be seen at the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York City. Svinin died in Russia in 1839.

From www.monticello.org, Thomas Jefferson Foundation
53 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1
Centre Square and the Marble Water Works, Philadelphia
Two Indians and a White Man in a Canoe
The Falls of the Schuylkill and Chain Bridge
Tableau of Indian Faces
The Falls of Niagara (Copy after an Engraving in The Port Folio Magazine, March 1810)
Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint Mémin - An Osage Warrior
Moravian Sisters, 19th century

Moravian Sisters, 19th century

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Full Sail off Sandy Hook—Entrance to New York Harbor

Full Sail off Sandy Hook—Entrance to New York Harbor

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

A Town on the Mohawk River in Central New York State (?)

A Town on the Mohawk River in Central New York State (?)

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Replenishing the Ship's Larder with Codfish off the Newfoundland Coast
"Worldly Folk" Questioning Chimney Sweeps and Their Master before Christ Church, Philadelphia
A Philadelphia Anabaptist Immersion during a Storm

A Philadelphia Anabaptist Immersion during a Storm

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Voyage Pittoresque aux Etats-Unis de l'Amerique. Par Paul Svignine. En 1811, 1812, et 1813. (Title Page from Svinin's Portfolio of Watercolors)
Shad Fishermen on the Shore of the Hudson River

Shad Fishermen on the Shore of the Hudson River

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

A View of the Potomac at Harpers Ferry

A View of the Potomac at Harpers Ferry

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Albany, New York

Albany, New York

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

The Upper Bridge over the Schuylkill, Philadelphia—Lemon Hill in the Background
Sunday Morning in front of the Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia
A Country Residence, Possibly General Moreau's Country House at Morrisville, Pennsylvania
Travel by Stagecoach Near Trenton, New Jersey

Travel by Stagecoach Near Trenton, New Jersey

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Passaic Falls, New Jersey (?)

Passaic Falls, New Jersey (?)

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

The Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia

The Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Upper Falls of Solomon's Creek (after an Engraving in The Port Folio Magazine, December 1809)
A Woodland Scene (The Sun Reflecting on the Dew, a Garden Scene: Echo, Pennsylvania, A Place belonging to Mr. D. Bavarage, 1808)
Niagara Falls—Table Rock by Moonlight

Niagara Falls—Table Rock by Moonlight

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Washington and Georgetown from the Alexandria Road
Merrymaking at a Wayside Inn

Merrymaking at a Wayside Inn

Attributed to John Lewis Krimmel (1786–1821)

Indian Antiquities (Copy after Engraving in American Medical and Philosophical Register, 1812)
Delaware Water Gap (?)

Delaware Water Gap (?)

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Nightlife in Philadelphia—an Oyster Barrow in front of the Chestnut Street Theater
Philadelphia from across the Delaware River

Philadelphia from across the Delaware River

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

New York City and Harbor from Weehawken
Charles Balthazar Julien Févret de Saint Mémin - The Chief of the Little Osages
A Ferry Scene on the Susquehanna at Wright's Ferry, near Havre de Grace
The Tornado, 19th century

The Tornado, 19th century

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (Copy after an Engraving in The Port Folio Magazine, June 1809)
Members of the City Troop and Other Philadelphia Soldiery
Black Methodists Holding a Prayer Meeting

Black Methodists Holding a Prayer Meeting

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

View on the Hudson River (Copy after Engraving by Weld and S. Springsguth in Weld, Travels Through the States of North America, 1807)
Natural Bridge, Virginia (Copy after an Engraving in François Jean, Marquis de Chastellux, Travels in North America, 1787)
Black Sawyers Working in front of the Bank of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Niagara Falls—Canadian Side by Moonlight

Niagara Falls—Canadian Side by Moonlight

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

The Packet "Mohawk of Albany" Passing the Palisades

The Packet "Mohawk of Albany" Passing the Palisades

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Winter Scene in Philadelphia—The Bank of the United States in the Background
The Monument to Alexander Hamilton at Weehawken

The Monument to Alexander Hamilton at Weehawken

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

Exhibition of Indian Tribal Ceremonies at the Olympic Theater, Philadelphia
The New City Hall, New York

The New City Hall, New York

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

The Traveler's First View of New York—The Battery and Flagstaff
View of Morrisville, General Moreau's Country House in Pennsylvania, Possibly The Woodlands, Pennsylvania
Fourth of July in Centre Square, Philadelphia

Fourth of July in Centre Square, Philadelphia

Attributed to Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

After the Tornado

After the Tornado

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)

General Washington's Tomb at Mount Vernon (Copy after Engraving in The Port Folio Magazine, 1810)
Steamboat Travel on the Hudson River

Steamboat Travel on the Hudson River

Pavel Petrovich Svinin (1787/88–1839)