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  • Portrait of Countess Maria Tolstaya

    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    65x53,5 cm

Portrait of Countess Maria Tolstaya

Russia, 1810s

Maria Alexeyevna Tolstaya, née Golitsyna (1772–1826) was the daughter of Alexei Borisovich Golitsyn (1732–1792) and Anna Yegorovna Gruzinskaya (1751–1779). Through her mother, she was a great-granddaughter of King Vakhtang VI of Georgia. She was taken on as a maid-of-honour at court in 1793, made a member of the Order of St Catherine in 1805 and an actual lady-in-waiting in 1826. In 1795 she became the wife of Piotr Alexandrovich Tolstoi (1770–1844) with whom she had nine children. Contemporaries observed that Maria Alexeyevna was no great beauty, but she had “an original mind with unusual quirks”. Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich reported that Maria Alexeyevna Tolstaya’s name was supposedly immortalized in Griboyedov’s classic comedy Woe from Wit, while Famusov’s famous remark in the play “O my God! What will Maria Alexe’vna say?!” became a catchphrase. It does, incidentally, reflect the true state of affairs in Moscow society of the 1810s–20s: Maria Tolstaya’s opinion was one to be reckoned with.

Title:

Portrait of Countess Maria Tolstaya

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

65x53,5 cm

Inventory Number:

ЭРЖ-1146

Category: