1) Aleksandra von Engelhardt (1754-1838)
Lover in 1779.
Wife of: Prince Franciszek Ksawery Branicki.
" . . . The next eldest , the formidable Alexandra Vasilievna, twenty-two in 1776, became Potemkin's favourite niece, his dearest friend apart from the Empress. She was already a woman when she arrived, so it was hardest for her to adapt to court sophistication. But she was as haughty as Potemkin had been, and 'clever and strong-willed'. She used her 'kind of grandeur' to conceal 'her lack of education'. She had a head for business and politics, and a talent for friendship. Her portraits show a slim brunette, hair brushed back, with high cheekbones, bright intelligent blue eyes, a broad sensual mouth, small nose and alabaster skin, graced by a lithe body and the grandness of a woman who was an honorary member of the imperial family and the confidante of its greatest statesman." (Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner: 186)
2) Nadezhda von Engelhardt (1759-18323)
Wife of: Col. Pavel Izmailov.
"Nadezhda, fifteen, contrived to be both ginger and swarthy and must have suffered from being the ugly duckling in a family of swans, but Potemkin made her a maid-of-honor like the others. She was head-strong and irritating: Nadezhda means 'hope' in Russian so Potemkin, who coined nicknames for everyone, cruelly called her 'beznadezhnaya' -- or Hopeless. . . ." (Catherine the Great and Potemkin)
|Varvara von Engelhardt|
5) Varvara von Engelhardt (1752-1815)
Daughter of: Vasili von Engelhardt & Marfa Yelena Potemkin.
Wife of: Sergei Fedorovich, Prince Golitsyn, mar 1779
"The third sister was Varvara, twenty, who charmed her way through life. 'Plenira aux chevaux d'or' -- 'the fascinatress with the golden hair' --was what the poet Derzhavin called her; she was celebrated for her radiant blondeness. Even in middle age, she kept her slender figure, and her features were described by the memoirist Wiegel as 'perfect . . . with the freshness of a twenty-year-old girl'. No statesman liked her sister Alexandra, she was excitable, flirtatious, capricious, hot-tempered and incessantly demanding. No one could criticize her ill-temper and bad manners when the Prince was alive, but on one occasion she pulled a friend by the hair; on another she whipped one of her estate managers. She was harsh to the pompous or corrupt but very kind to her servants -- though not necessarily to her serfs. Years later, force was required to suppress a peasant revolt on her estates." (Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner: 186)
Her uncle's lover in 1779.
Lady-in-waiting to Catherine the Great, 1776
Daughter of: Vasili von Engelhardt & Marfa Yelena Potemkin, sister of Prince Grigory Potemkin.
1. Pavel Martinovich Skavronsky (d.1791), Russian ambassador to Naples, mar 1781
"The mystery surrounding the mother/s of Bortniansky's children somewhat parallels the mystery of Bortniansky's relations with the family of Countess Ekaterina Vasilievna (1761-1829) known in Russian history under three names: Engelhardt (nee), Skavronskaya (from her first marriage) and Litta (from her second marriage). Born Engelhardt, she was one of the five sisters famous as Potemkin's nieces/mistresses, 'the beautiful daughters of his sister Marfa Engelhardt [that] formed the first and fairly permanent nucleus of his own -- otherwise kaleidoscopic and ambulant -- harem. From 1776 'Katin ka' was a lady-in-waiting to the Empress and enjoyed her patronage. The young woman was distinguished by her captivating beauty and intelligence, as noted by Baroness Luise d'Oberkirch, Maria Feodorovna's friend, Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun and others. In 1781 she made a brilliant marriage to the wealthy Count Pavel Martynovich Skavronsly (1757-93, mentioned in Chapter 6 as an avid music lover), who had returned from Naples in 1780. In 1784 the count was appointed Russian ambassador to Naples, but the Countess reluctantly fowlloed him only much later. In the late 1780s she spent much time in Russia and participated in the Empress's 1787 journey to the south. . . ." (Eighteenth-century Russian Music: 333)
" . . . The fifth sister was the placid and passive Ekaterina, who was already the physical paragon of the family: her portrait by Vigee Lebrun, painted in 1790, shows her seraphic face surrounded by bright auburn-blonde curls, looking in to a mirror. Ekaterina, wrote Segur, the French envoy, might 'have served as a model for an artist to paint the head of Venus'." (Catherine the Great and Potemkin)
". . . The other source of his (husband Skavronski) celebrity was the beauty of his wife, Potemkin's niece and sometime lover Catherine Engelhardt. . . Potemkin called Catherine Engelhardt one of the prettiest women in the empire. Comte Roger de Damas declares in his memoirs that Potemkin carried his affection for all his Engelhardt nieces to excess, but Catherine was his favourite. Although she continued to he her uncle's occasional mistress until he died (uncle-niece incest was not uncommon in Russia), she is said to have only 'tolerated' his embraces. But then she tolerated most things: husband, court, finery, all the trappings of her elevated position. . . Potemkin called her his 'angel incarnate', and the Prince de Nassau-Siegen confirmed the justice of the name. The comte de Segur thought that Catherine could fittingly serve as a model for Love itself, and many men duly adored her." (Gooden)
Potemkin's other lovers were:
3) Praskovia Golitsyna.
Wife of: Prince Mikhail Golitsyn.
4) Praskovia Potemkina.
Wife of: Pavel Potemkin, Grigory's cousin
". . . In the meantime, she continued to enjoy the services of younger, physically impressive men. Perhaps the most important of these was General Grigori Potemkin, who remained a confidant and ally even after their love affair was over. They wrote to each other several times a day even when they were in the same building. . . After their affair, it was rumored that he acted as her bedroom adviser, choosing young men she would find suitably attractive and interesting. Catherine was sexually active until the end of her life. . . . " (Mitchinson & Lloyd)
Wife of Russian officer.
8) Yekaterina Trubetskaya (1763-1830)
Ekaterina Sergeievna Samoylova
Ekaterina Sergeievna Samoylova
Wife of: Count Aleksandr Samoylov.
Wife of: Count Aleksandr Samoylov.
"The mystery surrounding the mother/s of Bortniansky's children somewhat parallels the mystery of Bortniansky's relations with the family of Countess Ekaterina Vasilievna (1761-1829) known is Russian history under the names: Engelhardt (nee), Skavronskaya (from her first marriage) and Litta (from her second marriage. Born Engelhardt, she was one of the five sisters famous as Potemkin's nieces/mistresses, 'the beautiful daughters of his own -- kaleidoscopic and ambulant -- harem. From 1776 'Katin ka' was lady-in-waiting to the Empress and enjoyed her patronage. . . ." (Eighteenth-century Russian Music:332)
Physical appearance& personality: ". . . The young woman was distinguished by her captivating beauty and intelligence, as noted by Baroness Luise d'Olberkirch, Maria Feodorovna's friend, Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun and others. . . ." (Eighteenth-century Russian Music:332) [Ref1:Vigee Le Brun] [Ref2:Apollo Magazine] [Eighteenth-century Russian Music:332]