Nicholas I in Front of the Winter Palace


This black-and-white photograph is a reproduction of a painting of Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia (1796–1855). It is preserved in the Russian State Film and Photo Archive, Moscow. It shows the emperor in front of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg. The emperor is reviewing troops drawn up in front of the palace before cheering onlookers. Nicholas I was the third son of Emperor Paul I (1754‒1801, reigned 1796‒1801) and a grandson of Catherine the Great. In 1817 he married Princess Charlotte of Prussia, who became Grand Duchess Alexandra. Nicholas I reigned from 1825 to 1855. 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).

Last updated: May 31, 2016