*** boys clothing: European royalty--Russia Catherine the Great

European Royalty: Paul I (Russia, 1796-1802)

Figure 1.--Franz Gerhard von Kugelgen (1772-1820) was a German portrait artist who primarily painted the European aristocracy during the French Revolution and Napoleoic War era, including Napoleon. Here we see a portarit of Tsar Paul I painted about 1800 just before he was murdered. We see everyone arrnged around Paul and his second wife Sophia Dorothea of W├╝rttemberg who received the new Orthodox name Maria Feodorovna. We are not sure about the other individuals but believe that they are the Tsar and Tasrina's children. There were ten childre, nine of which lived to adulthood. The Tsarevitch Alexander is one of the young men at the left. Alexander knew about the plot to remove his father, but did not believe he would be killed. Alexander would after Napoleon had defeated most of the other continental powers, played a central role in the defeat of Napoleon. Notice the French fashions the women and children are wearing. The littlke boiy leaning against his mother would secceed his brother Alexander as Tsar Nicholas I

The future Tsar Paul I was noiminally the son of the adel-minded Peter III and his wife, Catherine. Paul was born in the Palace of mperess Elizabeth of Russia in Saint Petersburg (1754). Al we are sure about is that his mother was Catherine, born a minor German princess. Catgherine after the death of the Emperess Elizabeth deposed her husband and like Elizabeth reign in her own right as Catherine II, better known in Eussian history as as Catherine the Great. Almost immediately after birth, Elizabeth took auk from Cathrrine and was resonsible for the boy who rarely saw his mother until after Elizabeth died. Once Paukl arrived, Elizabeth has little need for Peter or Catherine. Contemporaries including Catherrine spread rumors that Peter III was not Paul's real father, but rather the father was the Russian officer, Sergei Saltykov, who was indeed Catherine's favorite for a time. This cannot be proved, but were likely true. These rumors perhaps arose that Paul was not born until 10 years after the royal couple was married. They had been childless for a decade. Empress Elizabeth seizure of Paul was essentially a royal kidnapping. She raised him like her son. His parents thus had little to do with him while Elizabeth lived. Empress Catherine succeeded Elizibeth after her husband Peter was killed. She had a role in the process of seizing power from him, although the role in his murder is not known. As Emperess she disliked her son Paul, but became attached to his son Alexander. Paul began asking uncomfortable questions such as what had becone of his father. Paul was excluded from Goverment functions and spent his time playing soldier with a small detachment at Gatchina, on the outskirts of Petersburg. Catherine after Elizabeth's death wished her grandson Alexander to be her successor. Paul's desire to be tsar and attitudes toward women made him a danger to Catherine. Catherine died of an unexpected heart attack (1796). She had not yet put in writing her wish for Alexander to succeed her. Paul thus became Tsar at her death. Absolutist Tsar Paul I quickly infuriated almost everyone at court as well as the great nobels. He believed that Russia should be run like a giant military camp. He moved to undue Catherine's Enligtenment reforms. He was assasinated in a Palace coup only a few years after becoming tsar (1802). Alexannder did not not lead the coup, but was aware of it. He had not anticipatd that his father would be killed, an outcome which bothered him throughout his life. Alexander fied childless. His younger brother seceeded him as Nicholas I.


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Created: 5:01 PM 4/28/2019
Last updated: 4:05 PM 2/6/2023