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The Coronation of Empress Marie Feodorovna on 5 April 1797

Vernet Émile,
Oil on canvas
60 x 95

State Russian Museum


Empress Marie Feodorovna was crowned together with her husband on 5 April 1797. This solemn ceremony, which was marked by great magnificence and a painstakingly prepared ritual, traditionally took place in the Moscow Kremlin’s Cathedral of the Dormition whose interior was decorated with ancient frescoes. The artist has shown the moment when Marie Feodorovna kneels before Paul and he places the imperial crown on her head.

Author's Biography

Vernet Émile

Vernet, Émile Jean Horace
1789, Paris – 1863, Paris
French painter, draughtsman, engraver, lithographer, battle painter, author of historical subjects. Studied under his father Carle Vernet and François-André Vincent. Contributed to annual Paris Salons (from 1812). Director of the French Academy in Paris (1828–1834). Travelled across Algeria. Worked in Russia in 1836, 1838, 1842–1843, 1848. Honorary associate member of the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1834). A. V. Vitkovsky, graduate of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and V. F. Timm, lithographer, studied at Horace Vernet’s studio in Paris. Favourite artist of Nicholas I; the Emperor not only generously paid for his works, but also awarded Russian orders of St Stanislaus, 2nd class (1836), St Anna, 2nd class (“decorated with diamonds”; 1843) and St Vladimir, 3rd class (1849).

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