The Portrait of
Countess Varvara Nicolaevna Golovina

The Memoirs of Countess Golovina: 1766 - 1821
Countess Golovina-1982 Kimbell Catalog
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Art Page 11
Countess Varvara Nicolaevna Golovina née Princess Golitsyna (b. 12 Feb. 1766, d. Paris 21 Sept. 1821, burried at Saint-Germain-des-Près cemetery in Paris) was the daughter of Prince Nicolai Fedorovich Golitsyn and his wife née Prascovia Ivanovna Shuvalova. She was a Maid of Honour to the Empress Catherine II in 1783, and an intimate friend of the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Alexeevna (wife of the future Alexander I). Their friendship suffered, however, due to malicious gossip, and she was forced to leave St. Petersburg when Paul I came to the throne. Under the influence of the Jesuits and a French émigrée, the Princess of Tarente, she converted to Catholocism. She lived in Paris for a while in the society of the aristocracy of the ancien régime, but returned to Russia when Napoleon took power. She went back to Paris when the Bourbons were restored.Countess Golovina's memoirs were published in Paris in 1910.

Countess Golovina was married at the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg 4 Oct. 1786 to Count Nicolai Nicolaevich Golovin (b. 1759, d. 31 May 1821) son of Count Nicolai Alexandrovich Golovin and his wife née Anastasia Stepanovna Lopukhina. He was Marshal of the Court of the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich (future Alexander I). He was made a Senator in 1799, and later Grand Cupbearer of the Imperial Court and an Acting Privy Councillor. He had a liaison with the wife of Mr. Karlin, Resident Minister of the Duke of Hesse in Paris, and left a daughter born in Montpellier, who later married Auguste Louis Jean Baptiste Rivière, Hessian Ambassador to St. Petersburg, painter and friend of Mme Vigée-Lebrun. From another liaison with Théroigne de Méricourt, he left a son, Fedor NicolaevichLovin. They had four daughters: Prascovia (m. Countess Jan Maxymilian Fredro), Elisaveta (m. Countess Leon Potocki), and two others who died in infancy.

Vigee Le Brun also painted Countess Golovina's uncle, Ivan Ivanovich Chouvaloff,Art Page 16, (her mother's brother) in 1775 and a Countess Chouvaloff,Art Page 9, (her relationship to Ivan unknown ) in 1797.

For more information on Countess Golovina go to the 1982 Kimbell Catalog.

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