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Charles Boit (1662-1727)

Peter the Great (1672-1723) 1717

RCIN 421595

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Charles Boit was the leading European enamellist during the first quarter of the eighteenth century, and enjoyed a long and successful career at the English court between 1687 and 1714 before financial difficulties forced him to settle in Paris and revive his career at the French court. Boit met Tsar Peter the Great in both England and France; in London during the Tsar's visit of 1697-8 and in Paris again in 1717. On the latter occasion he was commissioned by the Tsar to produce forty enamel portraits of the Tsar. Since this enamel is a companion to one of Catherine I, Empress of Russia (421596) which must post-date 1716, it must have been painted at that time. The Tsar is shown in armour, with an ermine-lined crimson cloak and the Order of St. Andrew. Signed on the right: 'C. Boit' (the 'CB' in monogram).