A son of a senator, a favourite of Catherine the Great, at first served in the Guard. Since 1784, he was an aide-de-camp to the Prince Potemkin. When, in 1786, a handsome and gentle officer was presented to Catherine the Great, he started a meteoric career. He became a Colonel and finally a Major General. In 1787–1788 he played an active part in state affairs. He became a count but fell into disgrace after his wedding and had to leave St. Petersburg. The Empress granted him an estate and a sum of money but ordered him to live in Moscow. He never managed to get back to St. Petersburg. It is unknown whether he had a collection of graphic art or just separate objects.