What Is Catherine's Vanity In Great Britain

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Vanity was a very important factor in the quest for power which Catherine embarked on, as without it she would not have strived for the power she obtained and therefore, would not have been as a great a ruler as she was. It was the Hermitage which allowed her to keep fulfilling her needs, and in doing this she showed the rest of society her dominance throughout Russia. Catherine 's vanity was very influential in her decision-making process as a ruler, as it was this need to be the best which influenced her reign. The Hermitage was where she housed many portraits of herself, other great rulers, and many people she deemed influential. Portraiture was very fashionable during the eighteenth-century and it was important for Catherine to adhere to…show more content…
One portrait in particular she despised more than the rest is Lady with a dog by V.L. Borovikovskii. This particular portrait depicted her 'in middle age, standing before the Rumiantsev monument at Tsarskoe selo accompanied by a greyhound.’ It is an example of a timeless painting, which were very popular during this period. People were not placed in their actual garments or styles of the time as they were afraid it would go out of fashion. This meant that people were often place in classical garments. Catherine’s vanity can be seen thought her description of the painting, she felt that she had been portrayed 'as a Swedish cook, plain, fat and base '. Catherine often did not like the way she was portrayed, and so she had many aspects of her appearance changed. This influence over the artists painting her portraits was not unusual, as many of the aristocracy and elites had portraits commissioned to their own standards. Queen Elizabeth I of England is a key example, as she was portrayed in a large number of portraits. During her rule, prior to Catherine’s, she dominated portraiture and had painting of herself hung in buildings, private homes, prints, engravings, and even in books as illustrations. These portraits have been of great interest within the writings on Elizabeth I’s reign, however paintings and other art portraying Catherine the Great have often been ignored by historians. There is a significant gap in the…show more content…
She contributed to and admired the arts through fine art, music and literature, writing around a dozen plays during her reign. These plays were rumoured to be based upon her experiences. While this is unlikely and cannot be proven, they can still provide useful information. For example, in one, set in 1763, 'she cross-dressed as a man and spent the evening flirtatiously courting a young woman at a court ball. ' This used solely as a theatre performance at the state Hermitage shows the Hermitage, again demonstrating power and subconsciously showing Catherine. At the time it was unknown that Catherine herself had written the play, this suggests that Catherine held significant power, as she seemed unconcerned by what it could do to her reputation as a monarch. Catherine was successful in this, because she had so much control and influence. The Hermitage was also where she housed many portraits of herself, other great rulers, and many people she deemed
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