Ekaterinburg Museum Solves Romanov Portrait Mystery Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 36 seconds Topic: Anna Pavlovna, GD
For the past 70 years, a portrait simply known as The Unknown Woman lay in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ekaterinburg. The portrait was presented to the museum in 1936, however, up until recently little was known about the painting, but new research has now identified that the mystery woman shown in the portrait is the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna (1795-1865).
The artist, Timothy Andreyevich Neff (1805-1876), was a court painter during the reigns of Emperors Nicholas I and Alexander II. The portrait of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna is dated 1856.
It was Olga Hornung, Head of the Department of Foreign Art at the museum who took an interest in the portrait. "My attention was drawn to the rich decorations and Order of St. Catherine, which was considered the second-highest in the heirarchy of Russian awards since 1714," said Hornung. Another detail that caught the attention of museum staff was the ermine mantle draped over the shoulders of the woman, which was part of the royal regalia and thus indicating her affiliation with the Imperial house. After comparing it with other portraits of the daughters of Paul I, it became clear that the woman in the portrait was Anna Pavlovna.
Hornung further consulted with a colleague at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, who confirmed the identity of the Ekaterinburg portrait. They also confirmed that the artist painted the portrait during Anna Pavlovna's visit to Russia in 1855-56, based on historical documents from the museum's archives.
Anna Pavlovna was the eighth child and sixth daughter of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna. In February 1816, she married Prince Willem Frederik George Lodewijkvan of Orange-Nassau, who would later become King of the Netherlands. In October 1840, on the abdication of her father-in-law, William I, she became Queen Consort of the Netherlands. Anna and William II had 5 children.
Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna will be featured in the article Crowned in a Foreign Country: The Daughters of Emperor Paul I, in the Royal Russia Annual No. 4, to be published in late August 2013.
2013: Netherlands-Russia Year Topic: Anna Pavlovna, GD
Queen of the Netherlands, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia (1795-1865)
The year 2013 will reflect the special relationship between Russia and the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Russia and the Netherlands have been important trading partners since the Golden Age. Connections between the two countries strengthened over subsequent centuries. When Napoleon fell from power in 1813 and the Netherlands ceased to be a vassal state of France, the forces which advanced to the gates of Amsterdam to liberate the city were Russian Cossacks. A number of members of the House of Orange also married members of the imperial Romanov family or their descendants. The bonds between the Netherlands and Russia were crowned in 2009 by the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, the new satellite of St Petersburg´s famous museum in Western Europe.