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  • Portrait of Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseyevna (the future Catherine the Great)

    Artist:
    Ericksen, Vigilius. 1722
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    54x42,5 cm

Ericksen, Vigilius. 1722

Portrait of Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseyevna (the future Catherine the Great)

Denmark, Before 1762

Title:

Portrait of Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseyevna (the future Catherine the Great)

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

54x42,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1963; transferred from the Pavlovsk Palace Museum via the Storage Centre of Museum Funds

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-9908

Comment:

Ekaterina Alexeevna (1729–1796), born Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst, Empress Catherine II from 1762. From 1745 she was married to Grand Duke Pyotr Feodorovich. This type of portrait could have been created by Ericksen in St.Petersburg before Catherine’s accession to the throne, i.e. in the late 1750s – early 1760s. This is evidenced not only by Catherine’s youthful appearance but also by the absence of royal regalia. It is clear that it belongs to the same iconography as the large painting ‘Portrait of Catherine II in front of a Mirror’ (the State Hermitage, inv. № ГЭ 1352), in which the artist who depicted the empress facing the viewer, showed her mirror reflection in profile. A list of works intended for being handed over to the Russian ambassador, which was drawn up by Ericksen in 1778, includes Catherine’s portrait in profile under number 6 [Andersen 1965]. The portraits of Catherine II mentioned in this list were the author’s reproductions of Ericksen’s earlier originals. It is difficult to say if this is the reference to the portrait in question or if it was produced earlier. Т. Andersen [1965] questioned Ericksen’s authorship of the Hermitage portrait. However, the technical and technological research carried out in 1994 by L.P. Vyazmenskaya proves that the painting was done by Ericksen.

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