1684, Marseille - 1754, St. Petersburg

Portrait of Catherine I in a Peignoir

First half of the 1720s

  • oil on canvas. 80 х 60,5
  • Ж-5324

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

  • Provenance: Winter Palace (early 1760s)

Catherine Alexeyevna (née Marta Skowrońska (April 15, 1684 – May 6, 1727). Second spouse of Peter the Great (became his wife on February 19, 1712). On May 7, 1724 Peter crowned her as empress-consort and made her his co-ruler. On January, 1725 she became Empress of Russia.

The size of the painting (51 x 42) was extended around the perimeter after its completion, but the face was painted by Louis Caravaque. Initially Catherine was depicted wearing a white square décolleté gown with a ribbon of the order over her shoulder, just like on the portrait by Jean-Marc Nattier. It is possible that this is one of the earliest studies of Catherine composed by Caravaque after Peter and Catherine came back from Europe. It is also possible that this is a companion portrait to a portrait of Peter the Great, with their size being almost identical.

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