Emperor Nicholas I


This black-and-white photograph portrait of Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia (1796–1855), is from the Personal Album of Alexander II (1860-1870), which is preserved in the Russian State Archive of Film and Photo Documents, Moscow. It shows the emperor in an oval, half-length portrait in three-quarter profile, wearing a military uniform. Nicholas I was the third son of Emperor Paul I (1754‒1801, reigned 1796‒1801) and a grandson of Catherine the Great. Nicholas reigned from 1825 to 1855. In 1817 he married Princess Charlotte of Prussia, who became Grand Duchess Alexandra. He engaged in wars with Persia and the Ottoman Empire, suppressed a nationalist uprising in Poland, and helped to quell the 1848‒49 Hungarian insurrection. Domestically, he was known as an autocrat who opposed reforms and sought to Russianize all parts of the ethnically diverse empire. He died during the Crimean War, in which Russia fought an alliance consisting primarily of Great Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire. He was succeeded by his son, Alexander II (1818‒81, reigned 1855‒81), the owner of the album in which this photograph is found.

Last updated: December 7, 2016