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Portrait of Peter II. Second half of the 1720s

Matveyev Andrei,
Oil on canvas
71 х 59 (овал)

State Russian Museum

Пост.: 1925 из Гатчинского дворца-музея

Annotation

Peter II was the son of Tsarevich Alexis Petrovich and Princess Charlotte Christine Sophie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and the grandson of Emperor Peter the Great. He was himself Emperor from 1727. He was under the guardianship of the Supreme Privy Council, which was led by Peter the Great’s former favourite, his Supreme Highness Prince Alexander Menshikov. After Menshikov’s arrest in 1727 power in the Supreme Privy Council was usurped by the Dolgorukys, princes from an old boyar family. The system that existed before Peter the Great began to be restored and the court moved from St Petersburg to Moscow. The boyar aristocracy was strengthened and the army and navy fell into decline. Peter II had no inclination either to deal with matters of state or to study, and spent his time in games and entertainment. He died of smallpox in January 1730 and was buried in the Archangel Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin.

Author's Biography

Matveyev Andrei

Matveyev, Andrei
1702, ? – 1739, St Petersburg
Painter, portraitist, iconpainter, author of allegorical and decorative-monumental compositions. Awarded a fellowship to study in Holland by Peter the Great (1716). Studied under Arnold Boonen in Amsterdam (1717–1723) and under Sperwer at the Antwerp Academy of Arts (1723–1727). Returned to St Petersburg and employed by the Chancellery of Construction (1727). Awarded the title of master and headed the team of painters at the Chancellery of Construction (1731). Helped to decorate the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul and Imperial residences in St Petersburg. Painted icons for the Church of St Simeon and St Anne.


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