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Charles Boit (1662-1727)

Catherine I, Empress of Russia (1684-1727) c.1717

RCIN 421596

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Catherine, Empress of Russia is shown in this signed enamel by Charles Boit, the leading European enamellist of the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The enamel is based on a portrait painted by Jean-Marc Nattier in 1717 (the Hermitage, St Petersburg) and must have been copied on the orders of Peter the Great during his visit to Paris in that year. Boit enjoyed a successful reputation having worked as Court Enamellist in England from 1696 until 1714 and then found favour at the French court with patrons such as Philippe, duc d'Orléans (1674-1723). The Empress is shown her wearing an embroidered gold dress, an ermine-lined crimson robe and the red sash of the Order of St Anne. Catherine I, Empress of Russia, married Peter the Great in 1711. She was crowned as Empress-Consort in 1724 and succeeded as Empress on Peter's death in 1725. Signed on the right: C. Boit (the 'CB' in monogram).