Maria Naryshkina, Princess Sviatopolk-Chetvertinskaya

Naryshkina Maria

Maria Naryshkina, nee Princess Sviatopolk-Chetvertinskaya (February 2, 1779, Warsaw – September 6, 1854, Lake Starnberg) was the wife of Chief Master of the Hunt D.L. Naryshkin, mistress of the Tsar Alexander I of Russia. Maria was the sister of Prince B.A. Chetvertinsky and Jeanette Vyshkovskaya. Her elder sister, Jeanette had “shadow family” with the younger brother of the emperor, Konstantin.

Maria was the daughter of a Polish nobleman Anthony Chetvertinsky, who was killed by a crowd during the Kosciuszko Uprising in Warsaw. Catherine II ordered to remove his widow with children to St. Petersburg. Maria’s mother died when the girl was 5 years old and she was brought up by her stepmother.

In 1795 Maria (she was only 16 years old) married 31-year-old Dmitri Naryshkin, one of the richest nobles of Catherine’s era.

In 1799, she entered into a relationship with Alexander, who became tsar in 1801, with her spouse’s approval. She is described as fascinating and charming, with the ability to attract people, and called “The Aspasia of the North” and the “Prima Donna of Russia”.

Alexander was persuaded to leave her in 1818 and went back to his spouse Elizabeth Alexeievna (Louise of Baden).

Alexander I lived with Maria Naryshkina for 15 years (de facto) and they had two daughters and a son.

In 1813 Maria left Russia and lived mostly in Europe. In 1835, Naryshkina and her husband settled in Odessa. Former adjutant Brozin played a prominent role in her life. According to some reports, Naryshkina married him after the death of her husband in 1838. The last years of her life she spent with Brozin abroad.

Maria had six children, three of whom died in infancy.

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