Moussia 6: Early youth


Little is known about Moussia’s years as a child and as a teenager, except that she grew up in Moscow, where all her relatives lived. During her adolescence, her family moved to Saint Petersburg because her father, Colonel Wiktor Sila-Nowicki, was assigned to the Imperial Court. A painter and art lover, he became aide-de-camp to the cultured Grand-Duke Constantine, grandson of Czar Nicolas I of Russia, and a poet, playwright and translator of Goethe, Schiller and Shakespeare. Having been baptized a Roman Catholic, the rank of Colonel was the highest rank Wiktor could attain. According to the rules of that period, only officers of the Orthodox faith could be become generals. As we shall see later, this rule was dropped by the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky in 1917.

The picture above, of Moussia at the age of ten years, together with the dog Hector, was taken on June 5, 1905 during the double wedding in Kazimierz Dolny of  her aunts Zofia and Stanislawa with Wladyslaw and Ignacy Dzierzynski, mentioned in the previous article.

1899                                                                    1913

On the left: four-year-old Moussia with her mother, Anna Satina,  a former actress. It is not known anymore who the boy is; the album caption says that he is called  Sergei. He may have been her son from an earlier relationship. The photographer:  Dyagovchenko successor to K. Fisher,  Moscow Kuznecki Bridge 11

Moussia’s father is shown on the right at the age of 59, after he and Anna had separated. On the following picture taken by the photographer  I. Antonopulo in Odessa, we can admire Anna the actress. It seems the picture has been taken not very long before the one of 1899.

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