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Peter I (the Great) Interrogating Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich in Peterhof. 1872

Ge Nikolai,
Oil on canvas
134,5 x 173

State Russian Museum


Opposition to Petrine reforms stated in the Emperor’s family. His son from the first marriage, Tsarevich Alexei, made a stand against his father’s orders. However the conspiracy was unmasked and the Tsarevich fled abroad, but was returned to Russia at the order of Peter the Great. Russian Senate based on the Emperor’s consent sentenced him to death. To recreate this historical episode in every detail, the artist thoroughly studies documents and portraits of Peter the Great and the Tsarevich, as well as the costumes dated back to the beginning of the 18th century. He also faithfully reproduced the Emperor’s study in the Monplaisir palace in Peterhof. This work is a copy of an eponymous paining dated back to 1871 that is exhibited in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

Author's Biography

Ge Nikolai

Ge, Nikolai Nikoiaevich
1831, Voronezh - 1894, Ivanovskoe (Chernihiv Province)
Painter, draughtsman, history and religious painter, portraitist, landscapist. Studied mathematics at Kiev University (1847-48) and St Petersburg University (1848- 50). Studied under Pyotr Basin at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1850-57) and influenced by Karl Brullov and Alexander Ivanov. Fellow of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Rome and Florence (1857-63). Lived in Florence (until 1869). Professor (1863; resigned 1869). Founding member of the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1871). Influenced by Leo Tolstoy (i88os). Lived in Kiev and St Petersburg, moved to Ivanovskoe in Chernihiv Province (1876). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Imperial Academy of Arts (from 1857), Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1871-94), Exposition Universelle in Paris (1867) and the International Exhibitions in Munich (1869) and London (1873). One-man show at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1870).

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