33: About nurses, mothers and their children

Above the display cabinet, a painting by Pierre Legrand shows little Leonilla Bariatinskaya on the lap of her Russian nurse. 

Perhaps the bonnet she is wearing in this painting is the same as the one still being used for baptisms in the princely family today and found in the display cabinet next to a christening robe. 

The charming bracelet with three medallions unites Stephanie’s children Peter and Marie with Leonilla’s first child Friedrich. You find it on Leonilla’s portrait to the right. 

On the next wall, you see the copy of a large family painting by Horace Vernet. It shows Leonilla riding out for a falcon hunt. Behind her is Prince Louis, in front her stepson Peter and on the far left his sister Marie.

Rarely found on portraits of princely families, a governess is holding, Leonilla’s eldest son, Friedrich, on her lap. A few years later, a watercolour by J. S. Otto shows, quite differently, Leonilla now herself holding her daughter Antoinette in her arms. She, as a widow, spent happy years with Antoinette, who later became Princess Chigi-Albani in Rome and at Ariccia Castle.

Leonilla’s sons gave her less joy. Friedrich, inappropriately, married an actress and his brother Ludwig the actress’ sister. When Alexander married the governess of their children after his first wife Yvonne’s early death, he too had to forego title and inheritance.