Portrait of Empress Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov

Portrait of Empress Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov

Fedor Stepanovich Rokotov is one of the greatest Russian portrait painters of the second half of the 18th century. The ceremonial portrait of Empress Catherine Alekseevna was written by him on the basis of the portrait of the Swedish artist Alexander Roslin.

According to the original, Rokotov recreated the image of the Empress at a young age: a smooth white face, the absence of wrinkles, a deep cleavage covered in adulthood. Rokotov Catherine II – the mistress of the empire and a woman in her prime. Powerfully clutching the scepter in her hand, she with an imperative gesture points towards the imperial

regalia and the bust of Peter the Great with the motto “Begun begun makes” inscribed on it.

The work was executed in a silver scale, color gradations emphasize the whiteness and freshness of the face, which stands out against a dark background. The solemn red curtains indicate the special status of the model. Until 1918, the portrait was in the Romanov Gallery of the Small Hermitage.

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