PORTRAIT OF GREGORY ANDREEVICH SPIRIDOV
Gregory A.Spiridov (1713 – 1790), was an outstanding Russian naval commander, Admiral since 1769. A participant of the Russian-Turkish wars of 1735 – 1739 and 1768 – 1774, Seven Years’ War of 1756 – 1763. After the Seven Years’ War he was appointed the chief commander of Kronshtadt and Reval ports, later became commander-in-chief of the navy in the Baltic Sea. During the Russo-Turkish war of 1768 – 1774 he commanded a Squadron in the Archipelago expedition to the coasts of Greece. Under the command of Spiridov Russian fleet for the first time in history was moved from the Baltic Sea to the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. The Turkish fleet was defeated in the battle of Chios June 24, 1770 and destroyed in the battle of Chesme June 26, 1770. For Chesme Victory Spiridov was awarded with the order of St.Andrew. After that for another three years, he commanded the fleet that dominated the Greek archipelago and jointly with the expedition land forces led active actions against the Turkish coastal fortresses and ports of the Aegean Sea.
The portrait was painted immediately upon his return home from the Archipelago expedition. He is depicted in the Admiral's uniform with the ribbon and the star of the order of St.Andrew and the insignia of the order of St.Alexander Nevsky on the neck ribbon.