1799. Oil on canvas. 129 x 98.5 cm. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Read Note.
Muravyeva-Apostol, Anna Dmitrievna (177.-1810) the daughter of a general first of the Austrian, and then of the Russian Army, Simon Cernoevic, a nobleman of Serb origin, and his wife Elisabeth Kashkina. April 19, 1790 she married a diplomat and scientist Ivan Matveevich Muravyev-Apostol. She brought up her children in France and was afraid to bring them home in fear of the corruptive influence of serfdom. Because of the unfriendly relations between France and Russia she had to ask Napoleon’s permission to live in Paris, which he granted with the words that “until virtue is respected in France, M-me Muravyova will meet no oppression in this country”. Only on their way to Russia, in 1809, Anna told her sons that they would find slaves at home. All three of her sons became revolutionaries, two of them died for the cause – Sergey (1796-1826) was executed by the tsar, Nicholas I, Ippolit (1806-1826) committed suicide after the December revolt of 1825 failed. The boy in the picture, Matvey (Matthew) (1793-1886), was stripped of all titles and property and exiled to Siberia, where he spent 30 years. Anna Dmitrievna had 3 sons and 4 daughters. In the paintings she is with her son Matthew and daughter Catherine (1794-1849)