Portrait of Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich

Second half of the 17th century. 1680s (?)

  • oil on canvas. 83,5 х 78
  • Ж-3979

  • Received in 1931 from the Society of Lovers of the Ancient Literature and Arts, Leningrad

Alexis I Mikhailovich (March 19, 1629 – January 29, 1676). Tsar, member of the Romanov dynasty, father of Peter the Great. Son of Mikhail Fedorovich and Eudoxia Streshneva. He assumed the throne on July 14, 1645, and was crowned on September 28, 1645. During his reign the Zemsky Sobor (Assembly of the Land) passed the Law Code of 1649; the Customs (1653) and New Trade (1667) Regulations were adopted; and Ukraine came under Russian rule (1654), which led to the signing of the Truce of Andrusovo between Russia and Poland (1667). On January 16, 1648 Alexis married Maria Ilyinichna Miloslavskaya (April 1, 1624 – March 3, 1669), together they had 13 children. On January 22, 1671 he entered into a second marriage with Natalia Naryshkina (August 22, 1651 – January 25, 1694), and had three children with her: Peter (May 30, 1672 – January 28, 1725), Natalia (August 22, 1673 – June 18, 1716), and Feodora (September 4, 1674 – November 28, 1678).

This painting is a companion piece to the portrait of Tsar Michael I Feodorovich. The portrait of Alexis Mikhailovich was probably also based on the portrait from the 1672 “Titulyarnik” (a manuscript containing titles, coats of arms, and portraits of Russian and foreign rulers). The technique is close to the one of the portraits of Michael I Feodorovich and Tsaritsa Marfa Matveyevna (“with a hand fan”) of similar size. The portrait of Alexis Mikhailovich was also painted in the end of the reign of Tsar Theodore III Alexeyevich, or during the reign of Tsarevna Sophia (1682–1689).

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