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Portrait of Alexandra Muravyova

Pyotr Sokolov

(?)1787-1848

December 1825-January 1826

Watercolour, paper

14.6 x 11.2 cm

This portrait of the wife of the Decembrist Nikita Muravyov is considered to be a masterpiece of the Russian watercolour. It was commissioned especially for the imprisoned Nikita Muravyov, who had taken part in the uprising of December 1825 to protest the accession of Nicholas I to the throne, and to whom it was delivered in the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg on January 5, 1826.

Works by Pyotr Sokolov are remarkable for their skilful technique and a certain freshness and transparency of colour. In this portrait, the artist succeeded in conveying the character of Alexandra Muravyov, who was known for her harmonious combination of inner purity and nobility with outer charm.

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