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Made by: Christina Sanders Robertson

On view in: Marjorie Post's Bedroom Hall

About this object

Christina Robertson was a British portrait and miniature painter. Born Christina Saunders in Kinghorn, Fife, Scotland, Robertson learned to paint miniatures from her uncle, George Saunders, a miniaturist based in London. Robertson developed a successful portrait career and often traveled abroad in search of new clients. From 1839-1841, Robertson lived and worked in St. Petersburg, Russia. After spending eight years in her London studio, Robertson returned to Russia in 1849 to work as a portraitist for the imperial family. The sitter in this portrait is Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna of Russia (1807-1873). Born Princess Charlotte of Württemberg, she married Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich (1798-1849) in 1824. She playeinfluentialncial and crucial role at the court of her nephew, Emperor Alexander II. Elena Pavolna supported the liberal reforms undertaken by Alexander II such as the abolition of serfdom. In her most recent biography (2015), she is described as "the last woman in the Romanov family who combined intellect with high culture [...] She was the last woman of the dynasty to assert the Romanovs' claim to cultural authority and social importance and justify the traditional association between status and enlightened interests and concerns".

Portrait of Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, almost full length seated on a red sofa. Her golden hair is dressed with braids on either side. Her green dress is low cut and trimmed with lace. She wears necklaces and bracelets. At left is a table with a marble top, a vase of flowers, an open book and a golden vase in the 17th century style. Over back of sofa is a reddish cloak lined with ermine. Behind the sofa is an elaborately carved ebony cabinet with two Renaissance rock crystal vases. Bronze frame is contemporary to the painting.

Object name:
Made from:
Watercolor on ivory --bronze
Made in:
Date made:
24.8 × 19.1 cm (9 3/4 × 7 1/2 in.)

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
SIGNATURE: Christina Robertson p. [on front] Christina Robertson painted this (pinxit) DATE: 1841 [on front] 4/6 [inside the back of the frame]
Credit line:
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post, 1973