Apotheosis of Peter's Military Glory


“Apotheosis of Peter's Military Glory” exalts Tsar Peter the Great (1672–1725) as a wise ruler and military leader. The print shows Peter standing on a pedestal depicting battle scenes, surrounded by portraits of the 33 tsars and grand dukes who ruled Russia from the ninth century to the beginning of Peter’s reign in 1682. Labels beneath the portraits provide brief information about each ruler. Behind Peter stretches a chain of maps of the fortresses that he seized in battle. The work was commissioned by the Russian state and church figure and theologian Pheophan Prokopovich (1681–1736), who was an ideologist of Peter's reforms and promoter of the idea of enlightened absolutism. A letter from late March or early April 1717 indicates that Prokopovich prepared the tsar’s genealogy and sent it to him for review and approval. The print, created in 1717, is by Peter Picart, a Dutch artist and engraver who moved to Russia in 1702, where he produced numerous maps and prints. The work is in the Russian State Historical Archive in St. Petersburg.

Last updated: September 29, 2014