Saturday, 5 November 2016

Grand Duchess’ Attendants

Although Grand Duchess Olga, the daughter of Alexander III, never slept in the Winter Palace that I am aware of, she was a frequent visitor. Yet there are no photographs of the Grand Duchess; many are waiting to be discovered in the Imperial Family albums in the archives.

There are archival documents on the staff living in Olga’s palace on Sergievskaya Ul. The list of her attendants gives us an idea of the staff required for other Grand Duchesses in the Winter Palace i.e. her sister Xenia who lived the first years of her marriage on the 1st floor of the Winter Palace.

Photograph (below) of Grand Duchess Olga

P.I. Neradovsky’s 1905 Portrait (below) of Olga

The 1901 list of staff at the palace on Sergievskaya Ul:

I. «Suite»
Mistress of the Robes
Maid of honor
Adjutant M.A.Ambrazantsev Nechayev
Secretary F.F.von Bodungen

II. "Office of the Court"
Manager of the office of the Court  A.A.Rodzevich
Clerk B.I.Totsky
Accountant A.N.Maslov
Stationery Official V.V.Vasilev
Delivery man Garzasimov
Courier I.Alekseev

III. "Personal service"
Lady’s Maid E.Tenza
Maid E.Saksand
Seamstress N.Biryukova
Valet V.Gorelov
Assistant valet Sitnikov
Valet V.Vronovsky
Assistant valet Teglov
Wardrobe Sharipin

The staff had apartments in the Palace: A.A.Rodzevich had an apartment of six rooms, B. Totsky five rooms, F. von Budungen five rooms, M. Ambrazantseva Nechayevartment four rooms. 


  1. Wow!To think if the camera had never been invented we wouldn't have photos like this. Is the coloured photo actually coloured or has it been coloured?

  2. I love the camera but sometimes I love watercolors of the interiors more! The colored photo is a painting. I don't know anything about the artist though. Which room or palace it is, I don't know. The b/w photo I have never seen before, so another may be able to identify the location.

  3. Wow! Joanna these past three post have been great (not that all of them are not great, I’ve just decided to comment on the last three).
    I couldn't agree with you more about the watercolours, I especially like Edward Petrovich Hau's, his pictures are so very detailed that they look like photographs. Ooops I didn't read that the coloured photo was a painting, sorry, I was looking at the post via another avenue :( )
    Grand Duchess Olga Attendants was very interesting. I was looking at a picture of Empress Maria Feodorovna and her other daughter Grand Duchess Xenia (how do you pronounce her name?) and saw that unlike Olga, Xenia looks so much like her mother.
    I love The Winter Palace as it is painted now, the green and white has a je ne sais quoi about it and I’ve seen it painted as a dull rusty red (or so I thought) but if it was a real rich red then it would have really popped, not to mention it would have been a real bold colour to paint it in, do you think Nicholas II was trying to make a statement?
    Luigi Premazzi’s watercolors of the interiors of the Anichkov Palace was a great post to read and look at. I Googled it and could not find any of those interiors (unless I’m not looking in the right place?). One thing that caught my attention was Alexandra’s Cabinet and its resemblance to one of, I think, Hau’s paintings which all I know is titled: Interiors of the Winter Palace .The Study of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, sometimes I see it titled as The Drawing Room and I think I’ve seen it title as The Library, if you know which one I’m referring to, could you tell me, was it apart of her rooms and where it was/is, I think its #177 on the floor plan but it doesn’t seem to fit.
    Thanks again in advance, looking forward to your next interesting post.

  4. (Gives an embarrassed look) I found it, its #387. There was some big looking fire places in Anichkov palace, but Alexanda's Boudoir looks rather narrow in the picture, would it be bigger if you actually stood in the room?

  5. I do mispronounce Xenia! It has more of a ksenya sound, difficult to write!

    I have never seen a watercolor of the library #387. It's a small room and I do have a photo c1917. Various artists painted the same room i.e. Study/Cabinet, Drawing Room, in different years so there are similarities. I am curious though where the 'lost' watercolors are today.

  6. I found this watercolour on a site called: Last Emperor of the Lost Empire and its labelled: The Study of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, its a smallish room painted aqua, with a white low ceiling and it has three windows, no date on it. I wouldn't mind knowing where the lost watercolours are today either, the collection is not complete!

  7. Thank you for your comment and the new site to see (!

    The watercolor is the Study of Empress Alexandra but it is in the Cottage in Peterhof.

    I have a partial list of watercolors of the Winter Palace in the rooms of Alexander II in Gatchina. I am curious to know more.

  8. You're welcome, I am glad I could be of help. Now I know where it belongs, thank you. Ghostie.

  9. Joanna.
    I found three more, you might already have them but this is the site:
    And these are watercolour titles:
    Blue cabinet of Alexander II. Watercolor on paper. Hermitage. Artist Eduard Hau
    Study of the Emperor Nicholas I. Watercolor on paper. Hermitage. Artist Eduard Hau
    Oval Office of Emperor Paul I. Watercolor on paper. Hermitage. Artist Eduard Hau

  10. Thanks for the link. They are interspersed from Winter Palace to Peterhof to Gatchina that I am dizzy!
    The blue cabinet of Alexander II is the Farm Palace in Peterhof.
    Study of Nicholas I - I am now confused on. I thought it was the Cottage in Peterhof but it doesn't look like the top floor.
    The Oval of Paul I is Gatchina.

  11. You are welcome. Sorry I made you dizzy, given that The Study of Nicholas I looks similar in size and shape to The Study of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, I thought that it would be in the Cottage in Peterhof, but its not -me thinks I've given you a puzzle to solve? That's the problem with some of theses sites ( all having good intentions of course ) and why I was so confused when I started looking through all the pictures, is that some list them as Interiors of the Winter Palace when they are actually not, if I hadn't come across your website and seen the floor plans with the list of rooms, I think I would have gone crazy! or I would’ve been still working out which room goes where to what picture and giving myself a massive headache, so thankyou!