Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Romanov Children as Muse

Since I started painting Romanovs in late 2009, I kept a photographic record of the process. I have rarely painted seriously in a 45 year art career...I was a ceramic artist. So when I felt the urge to paint Romanovs, I decided to record it since I had no idea of it would work out. Well it has worked out pretty well. And I now discover I love painting and I love painting Romanovs.

It's a powerful experience to bring these young people back into being and in color even if it's just with paint. I have been interested on and off in the Russian Royal family for 40 years. But what captured my heart and always will, is their example of grace under fire during the 16 months of their ever worsening captivity after the Russian revolution. The more I learn of this period of their lives, the more I admire them.

I made two videos of the process The first one for the 36x26 inch painting of Olga & Tatiana Nikolaevna in their WW1 nurses uniforms.

I then painted a smaller, 9x12 painting of the third daughter , Maria Nikolaevna. Also known as Marie and "Mashka"

I am currently working on Anastasia's portrait and then will do Alexis.


  1. Keep on painting! The big pair are fabulous.

    Who's the young man in the photo?

  2. The young man in the photo is Dmitri Pavlovitch Romanov. The son of Nicholas 's Uncle Paul. Dmitri had an older sister, but soon after his birth, their mother died. In a year or two, their father then married a commoner without the Tsar's permission. He was banished and lived the fast life at Monty Carlo. Dmitri and his sister were small children and so they were raised by Alexandra's sister, the childless Ella and her husband , until he was assassinated in 1905.

    Dimiti and his sister were then practically raised by Alexandra and Nicholas...they were close to OTMAA..in fact many thought Dimitri would marry Olga. So he was very close to the family. But he is also the Grand Duke who was involved in Rasputin's murder...which was a stab into the heart of the family as far as the Empress was concerned. So his is an interesting case. This photo was taken just a few weeks before Rasputin's death in 1916. He never discussed the plot and murder in later life . But it was Nicholas banishment of Dmitri Pavlovitch for his role in Rasputin's death that saved Dmitri from being killed by the Soviets later. It wasn't just the Tsar's immediate family that was killed in 1918. Many other Romanovs off all ages were done away with as well. They just found some Romanov graves from 1918 within the walls of the fortess of Peter and Paul last year.

  3. Beth, I was so intent on answering your guestion, I forgot to thanks for stopping by and your kind works about my painting! Alexis's will be a large one as well. It will be of him and his dog , Joy