After 1686 (1691?), Moscow – circa 1758, Moscow

Portrait of Catherine I with a Little Negro Boy

Before December 1725 (?)

  • oil on canvas. 264 x 200
  • Ж-5487

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

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.

Catherine is depicted with a ribbon and a star of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called. Originally the portrait was smaller (190 x 133), the architecture and the landscape around the subject were painted later. Traditionally the portrait was dated 1725–1726 based on the engraving by Alexei Zubov. A document dated December 22, 1725 reads: “At the command of His Majesty [...] painter Ivan Adolsky received” one hundred rubles for painting these two portraits of Empress Catherine I: this one and the one housed in the State Museum-Preserve Tsarskoye Selo; the paintings are slightly different.

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