Francois Xavier Winterhalter

Portrait of Empress Maria Alexandrovna

Portrait of Empress Maria Alexandrovna
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Francois Xavier Winterhalter
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 120x95 cm
Origin: France, 1857

Here we see the Russian Empress Maria Alexandrovna , nee Princess of Hesse, daughter of the Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, Ludwig II, wife of Alexander II and mother of Alexander III. In accordance with a tradition which dated back to the time of Maria Fyodovna, wife of Paul I , Maria Alexandrovna was patroness of many charitable organisations in Russia, in particular the Red Cross. With her assistance, schools and girls colleges were set up across the country. Due to her fragile health, Maria Alexandrovna lived a very retired life in her last years. In this portrait by the famous society painter Franz Winterhalter, she is shown standing in slight three-quarter view. The elegant crossed arms and rich attire, the luxurious jewels and fan, create an imposing picture of a lady of society. But there is a barely noticeable incline of the head, a pale wanness to the serious, thoughtful gaze, which tell us that Maria Alexandrovna was in fact totally immersed in her own internal world.

Personage: Empress Maria Alexandrovna
Style: Salon Art
Source of entry: Collection of Alexander II in the Winter Palace, 1926
Theme: History
Exibition: French Art: 19th - 20th centuries

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