Portrait of Tsarina Natalia Kirillovna

Late January – early February 1694 (?)

  • oil on canvas. 126,5 x 95,5
  • Ж-3943

  • Received in 1925 from the State Hermitage (Romanov Gallery)

The original size of the painting was different (88 x 62); also, it was oval in shape, later painted into a square. Elements that were inserted changed its format. Technical research conducted reveals several changes introduced to the hands of the character by the artist (initially she was holding a handkerchief). During the last third of the 17th century a piece with her “dormition” obtained wide circulation; it was painted for a splendid mansion for her descendants to remember her by. The famous historian Ivan Zabelin, who studied the everyday lives of Russian tsars was the first person to publish a report stating that “in 1694 (February) the painter Mikhail Choglokov painted the dormition of Her Majesty Tsarina and Grand Duchess Natalia Kirillovna, the blessed.”

Natalia Naryshkina (September 1, 1651 – February 4, 1694)

Mother of Peter the Great and Tsarevnas Natalia and Feodora. Daughter of Boyar Kirill Naryshkin (1623–1691) who, at the demand of the rebellious Streltsy, was sent to be a monk in the Kirillo-Belozersk Monastery in 1682, and took the name of Cyprian. Until 1671 Natalia was a ward of Boyar Artamon Matveyev. In 1671 she became Tsaritsa, being the second wife of Tsar Alexis I Mikhailovich. She was the elder sister of Boyar Lev Naryshkin (1664–1705).

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