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Portrait of Tsaritsa Marfa Matveevna

  • December 1681 – 14 February 1682
  • oil on canvas
  • 89 х 70
  • Ж-3970
  • Received in 1918 from the collection of M. I. Shulman State Russian Museum

Marfa Matveyevna Apraksina (1664–1715). Daughter of Matvey Vasilyevich Apraksin and Domna Bogdanovna Lovchikova. She was the second wife of Tsar Theodore III Alexeyevich from February 14 to April 27, 1682. She was the sister of General-Admiral Fyodor Matveyevich Apraksin, Andrei Matveyevich Apraksin (Maddening Andrei), and Peter Matveyevich Apraksin, a senator.

This portrait was painted at the same time as the so-called portrait with a little dog. It was painted when Marfa Matveevna was the tsar’s bride. A hand fan wasn’t one of specific details of the pre-Petrine everyday life, but its “language” was well-known. Tsaritsa Marfa holds her hand fan as an “arrow,” meaning in a closed position, in her right hand, and it is pointed at her companion. This hand fan’s position is a sign of love and sympathy.


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