Monday, January 26, 2015

Royal Portrait: The Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia

The future Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, consort
of Nicholas I, portrayed here when she was still a grand duchess.
By Henri Benner, 1821 (From the Hermitage Museum)
"On St. Peter's day the imperial family met at the chateau. It was there that I saw the Grand Duchess Nicholas for the first time, and I was struck by the elegance of her form and the beauty of her tall figure. Surrounded by her ladies in waiting, whom she surpassed by a head, you would have said it was Calypso in the midst of her nymphs."
 --From the memoirs of Madame la Comtesse de Choiseul-Gouffier

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Royal Portrait: Portrait of Queen Anna of the Netherlands

Portrait of Queen Anna of the Netherlands,
born Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia by Timoteo Neff.
From the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts of Yeketerinburg
(Image from

The Grand Duchess Anna was certainly a force to be reckoned with. She was a lover of pomp and ceremony, never forgetting for a moment that she was a Russian grand duchess before she became queen. In this portrait, a middle-aged Anna was a wearing a Russian court dress adorned with rubies and diamonds and a kokoshnik embellished with pearls, rubies and diamonds.
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