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Portrait of Catherine I in a Peignoir. First half of the 1720s

Caravaque Louis (?),
Oil on canvas
80 х 60,5

State Russian Museum


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.

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.

Author's Biography

Caravaque Louis

Caravaque, Louis
1684, Marseilles – 1754, St Petersburg
Painter, portraitist, designer, miniaturist, graphic artist. Member of the third generation of French painters working in Marseilles and Tulon. Invited to Russia by Peter the Great (1715). Lived and worked in St Petersburg (from 1716). Painted portraits of Peter the Great and members of the Imperial family. Painted murals and headed painting work in Peterhof and in the Summer Palace in St Petersburg. Compiled festival projects for the Imperial court. Court artist with an exclusive right to paint Imperial portraits during the reign of Empress Anna Ioannovna (1730–1740) and Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (1741–1761). Taught painting to Ivan Vishnyakov, Alexei Antropov and Mikhail Zakharov.

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