Maria Naryshkina

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Maria Naryshkina, Portrait by Salvatore Tonci

Maria Antonovna Naryshkina (Russian: Мария Антоновна Нарышкина, 1779–1854), born Princess Maria Antonovna Svyatopolk-Chetvertinskaya was a Polish noble, for thirteen years the mistress of Tsar Alexander I of Russia.


Daughter of the Polish prince Antoni Stanisław Czetwertyński-Światopełk and 1795 married to Dmitry Lvovich Naryshkin (a hofmeister). In 1799, she entered into a relationship with Alexander, who became tsar in 1801, with her spouse's approval. She was well liked by Alexander's family, except by his consort, the empress Elizabeth Alexeievna . She is described as fascinating and charming, with the ability to attract people, and called "The Aspasia of the North". In 1803, she made an attempt to have Alexander divorce his spouse and marry her, but failed. She accompanied the tsar to the Vienna Congress in 1815, which gave him bad publicity.

She had one illegitimate daughter by Alexander - Sophia; and a son Emanuel, who wasn't admitted by her husband and possibly was also tsar's child.[1]

Her children were:

  • Zenaida Naryshkina (d. 18 May 1810).
  • Sophia Naryshkina (1808 - 18 June 1824).
  • Emanuel Naryshkin (30 July 1813 - 31 December 1901).

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


  • Mistresses of Russian Royalty, Including: Anna Pavlova, Natalia Brasova, Maria Naryshkina, Catherine Dolgorukov,Pauline de Rothschild, Princess Olga ISBN 978-1-242-90165-2
  • Troyat, Henri Alexander of Russia: Napoleon's Conqueror Dutton Adult; First edition. edition (January 31, 1983) ISBN 978-0-525-24144-7