The portrait belongs to the series of portraits of Smolyanok – pupils of the Smolny Institute of noble maidens, written by the artist commissioned by the emperors Catherine II. Molchanova is depicted in a white silk dress, set for older pupils of the Educational Society of Noble Maidens. On the right on the table is an anthlia – a vacuum pump used as a training aid for Smolyanok.
Ekaterina Ivanovna Molchanova. The daughter of a collegiate adviser, a member of the university council, Ivan Yakovlevich Molchanov, a pupil of the wife of Ober-Jagermeister M. Ya. Naryshkina, who assigned her to the
In 1766 she graduated from the course with a large gold medal and cipher of Catherine II, becoming the Grand-Maid of Honor of the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, in the late 1770s – Catherine II.
From 1780 she was married to S. A. Olsufiev, later Major General.