Jugate busts of Czarevitch Paul and Maria Feodorovna of Russia

Maker: James Tassie (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1735–1799 London)

Artist: After an original by Empress Maria Feodorovna (Russian, born Poland, Szczecin 1759–1828 St. Petersburg)

Date: 1791

Culture: British, London

Medium: Cast glass

Dimensions: Overall: 2 11/16 x 2 3/16 x 7/16 in. (6.8 x 5.5 x 1.1 cm); 68 x 55.4 x 11.1 mm

Classification: Glass

Credit Line: Funds from various donors, 1999

Accession Number: 1999.525


Catherine the Great’s daughter-in-law Maria Feodorovna, born Princess Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg, was an accomplished cameo carver. James Tassie produced several glass replicas of the cameo she made of herself alongside her ill-favored spouse, the future Paul I. Most of the replicas, like the original hardstone in the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, are dated April 21, Catherine the Great’s name day; the original was presumably Maria Feodorovna’s tribute when that occasion was celebrated in 1791. The Russian court had known contacts with Tassie, whose small glass portraits emulating cameos enjoyed wide circulation, and there can be little doubt that it was to him they turned for replications of Maria Feodorovna’s cameo.