Portrait of Peter I

Early 18th century

  • oil on canvas. 243 х 206
  • Ж-5479

  • Received in 1932 from the Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library, Leningrad

  • Provenance: State Hermitage

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.

Iconographically, this representation of the tsar harkens back to the original work by Godfrey Kneller, and features allegoric representations of Peter the Great trampling down his enemies. It is believed that the portrait was created based on a reproduction made by John Smith (from Kneller’s original painting) by one of the tsar’s painters from the Armoury Chamber; who were apprentices of Stanislaw Lopucki. It is supposed this is the picture that was kept in “the palace of Tsarevna Maria Alexeyevna.”

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