Prince Rostislav Rostislavavitch Romanov is a British-Russian painter and descendant of the former ruling Russian Imperial dynasty, the House of Romanov.
The third of his name, Rosti was born to Rostislav Rostislavavitch Romanov Jr. and Christia Ipsen in the United States in 1985. Shortly after his birth, Rosti’s father moved the family from Chicago to London where Rosti spent the first seven years of his life. The family then moved to the village of Rye in East Sussex, where Rosti spent his teenage years.
Rosti’s childhood was in many ways typical of that of any young man in rural England. He would often enjoy quiet walks through the Sussex countryside the abundance of picturesque natural scenery surrounding him where he first engaged his artistic sensibility. But, despite having a typically English exterior, the 18th Century house where Rosti grew up possessed a Russian feel, with artefacts, paintings and photographs of the Romanov family adorning the walls.
Rosti first visited Russia, the country of his forefathers, at the age of thirteen when he and his family were invited to St. Petersburg to participate in the funerals and ceremonial re-interments of his great great-uncle, Tsar Nicholas II (the last Emperor of Russia) and his family. It was during this trip that Rosti first fell in love with his home country. The culture, people, art, music and history all moved him – so much so that he resolved to return one day to his motherland and live there.
Rosti’s father fell ill soon after the family returned to the UK from Russia and passed away in January 1999. Rosti, 13 at the time, was devastated by his father’s death. But in the darkness there was light – and a gift.
Rosti was encouraged to channel his grief into painting and it was here, and with the help of an inspirational art teacher, that his love affair with arts really began in earnest. Inspired by Russian culture and architecture, much of Rosti’s art continues to draw from the influence of the Great Russian master painters such as Wassily Kandinsky and particularly the landscape paintings of Levitan and Kuindzhi. While striving for modernity, rather than tradition, Rosti eventually elected to study Fine Art at Falmouth University.
In 2010, Rostislav was invited to be Advisor to the Creative Department of the famous Raketa Watch Factory in St. Petersburg, founded by his ancestor Peter the Great. He holds a prominent role in aiding the design of the watches; and in 2013 designed a special watch to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanov.
Rosti now divides his time between the UK and Russia. His first one, man show in Moscow was named ‘The Cupolas’, in which he painted a series of Russian churches. He has also held exhibitions in Kazakhstan and the UK, with upcoming exhibitions planned for Lebanon, Kazakhstan, London and the United States of America.
Rostislav is deeply devoted to the town of Rye and its vibrant, local community. Each year, Rosti donates one of his paintings to the Rye and District Bonfire Society, and he was awarded a Vice Presidency of the Society in 2015. The Society holds an annual Bonfire celebration that offers a combination of fireworks displays, a torch lit procession and local floats.