Princess Varvara Nikolaevna Gagarina (1762–1802)

Jean-Baptiste Greuze French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 631

Led by Empress Catherine the Great, eighteenth-century Russia’s elite commissioned and collected works by Paris’s most famous painters, sculptors, and craftsmen. Varvara Nikolaevna Golitsyna and her husband Prince Sergei Sergeyevich Gagarin seem to have visited Paris during a honeymoon tour of Europe in the early 1780s, commissioning portraits from Greuze and, during their stay in London, a family portrait from Sir Joshua Reynolds. The simple white cotton dress, closely associated with Queen Marie Antoinette, was then the height of Parisian fashion, and soon spread across European capitals.

Princess Varvara Nikolaevna Gagarina (1762–1802), Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, Tournus 1725–1805 Paris), Oil on canvas

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