300
300
Charles Boit
PORTRAIT OF PETER THE GREAT, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA (1672-1723)
JUMP TO LOT
300
Charles Boit
PORTRAIT OF PETER THE GREAT, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA (1672-1723)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons

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London

Charles Boit
STOCKHOLM 1663 - 1727 PARIS
PORTRAIT OF PETER THE GREAT, EMPEROR OF RUSSIA (1672-1723)
Enamel on copper, ormolu frame, crown surmount;
signed centre right: CBoit
4.2 by 3.6 cm.; 1 3/4 by 1 1/4 in.
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Provenance

Sale, Geneva, Sotheby's, 16 November 1993, lot 5

Catalogue Note

In around 1690 Charles Boit, having trained initially as a goldsmith in Stockholm and later in Paris, moved to London. There Boit, encouraged by his compatriot Michael Dahl, specialised in painting in enamel and was subsequently appointed court enameller to King William III. He apparently encountered Emperor Peter I when the latter, travelling under the name Peter Mikhailov, visited London as part of his ‘Grand Embassy’ of 1797–98. This encounter resulted in Boit painting a number of small enamel miniatures of the Emperor that were based on Dahl’s recently completed portrait (for an example of this enamel, see Sotheby’s, Geneva, 16 November 1989, lot 22). 

Some twenty years later, when the Emperor visited France  in 1717, Boit - who was then living in Paris - received a second imperial commission. The new series, of which the present work is an example, was loosely based upon a contemporary portrait of the Emperor by Jean Marc Nattier. Another example of this composition is in the collection of the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (inv. no. NMB 539). Such portraits were originally mounted in gem-set frames, known as boîtes à portrait, and were given by European rulers as a token of royal or imperial favour.

Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons

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London