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Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723)

Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia (1672-1725) Signed and dated 1698

RCIN 405645

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This portrait was painted during Peter the Great’s stay in London in early 1698. It became the prototype for images of the sitter and was widely copied. The background may allude to a mock sea battle seen by Peter at Portsmouth. Depicting Peter in Western armour in the style of a European monarch, this portrait reflected the modernisation of Russia which he began on his return from Europe.