1840 Grand Duchesses Olga Nikolaevna and Alexandra Nikolaevna by Christina Robertson (Hermitage)

Scottish emigre Christina Robinson painted this charming portrait of Grand Duchesses Olga Nikolaevna and Alexandra Nikolaevna in 1840.

There is a short corridor in the Hermitage lined with royal portraits in almost impossible-to-photograph conditions due to veiling illumination through windows and the heights at which they are posted - plus the crowds..

Gauzy sleeves came into fashion in the 1830s, but persisted in Russia. Olga's gauzy sleeve is slit in front so the arm can protrude out from it, a feature found in Russian court dresses until the end of the Tsarist era. The waistlines do not show, but Olga wears a similar dress in the next two images with a vee waistline.

Keywords:  1840, Robertson, Olga Nikolaevna, Alexandra Nikolaevna, Grand Duchess, Queen, Romanov family, Russian, hurluberlu coiffure, braided coiffure, off shoulder straight neckline, bertha, cap sleeves, Russian sleeves, full skirt, necklace, bracelets

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