Peter I (the Great; 1672–1725) was the younger son of the Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. He became Tsar in 1682 (until 1696, he ruled jointly with his brother Ivan V). From 1721, he was the first Emperor of All the Russias.
The iconographical type of the portrait was described as the “Versailles” one. It was supposed to be “the Versailles original half-length portrait, with hands not depicted; given to Louis XV by Peter the Great”.
A legend says that the portrait was painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud. There is a similar portrait in Versailles, but French art historians believe that it originates from a portrait by Pieter van der Werff housed in the State Hermitage.