KRÜGER, Franz
(b. 1797, Grossbadegast bei Köthen, d. 1857, Berlin)

Equestrian Portrait of Alexander I

1837
Oil on canvas, 484 x 344 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Alexander I of Russia (1777-1825), served as Emperor of Russia from 1801-1825. He was the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825, and also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania.

Franz Krüger was a favourite at the Russian court. His paintings were such successes in St. Petersburg that the artist was awarded a diamond-sprangled snuffbox and an invitation to Russia. In 1832 Krüger embarked on a large equestrian portrait of Alexander I that was intended to replace Dawe's work in the Gallery of 1812, which many found to be a poor likeness. The portrait took five years to complete and still adorns the gallery today.