Anna Rosina MATTHIEU (puis de GASC à partir de 1760), née LISIEWSKA (Berlin 1713-Dresde 1783)

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Anna Rosina MATTHIEU (puis de GASC à partir de 1760), née LISIEWSKA (Berlin 1713-Dresde 1783)
The future Empress Catherine II of Russia with her mother and her husband, the future Peter III, at a card game in the princely house of Anhalt-Zerbst (1757)
Watercolour, pen, Indian ink, black pencil and white chalk highlights.
Signed and dated lower centre Drawn by R. Matthieu née Lisiewska. 1757.
H. 46,5-W. 82 cm
This drawing is important and extremely rare for German history as well as for the history of imperial Russia. Around the game table are sitting: on the left Princess Sophie-Frederic-Augusta of Anhalt-Zerbst (1729-1796), future Empress Catherine
II of Russia (1762-1796), in the center her mother Princess Jeanne-Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst, born of Holstein-Gottorp (1712-1760), on the right her husband and cousin Duke Karl Peter Ulrich of Holstein-Gottorp (1728-1762), future and short-lived emperor of Russia under the name of Peter III (1762). They are surrounded by eight members of their family standing in an interior, including Prince George Louis of Holstein-Gottorp (1719-1763) and Princess Anne of Holstein-Gottorp (1709-1758), uncle and aunt of the future Catherine the Great.
It is highly probable that this scene was taken at the castle of Zerbst, home of the Anhalt-Zerbst family, where the future empress
Catherine II spent her childhood (the castle of Dornburg, built by her mother with the aim of receiving the future imperial couple, never reunited them in the end).
Anna Rosina Lisiewska was born in Berlin into a noble family of Polish origin. Her father Georg Lisiewski (1674-1751) taught her, her younger sister Anna Dorothea (1721-1782) and her brother Christoph Friedrich (1725-1794) to paint. She later studied with the Frenchman Antoine Pesne. In 1757, when our drawing was made, she was appointed official painter of the Court of Anhalt-Zerbst by the sovereign Frederick Augustus (1734-1793), brother of the future Catherine II. She painted many portraits, in particular that of the young Sophie in 1742, aged 13 (preserved in the Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg, see illustration opposite), that of her mother in 1752 (preserved in the castle of Gottorf), or that with her husband, the future Peter III in 1756 (preserved in the Nationalmuseum of Gripsholm castle). In 1741 she married the painter David Matthieu (1697-1755), and after his death she remarried in 1760 to Louis de Gasc, from whom she had two children. She died in Dresden in 1783.
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