The present portrait is painted after that executed by George Dawe in the early 1820s (see Rovinskii, Dictionary of Russian engraved portraits, St Petersburg 1887, vol. 2, p. 1360, no. 39). Aleksandr Poliakov, along with Vasilii (Wilhelm) Golicke, worked alongside Dawe in his studio.
The Emperor Nicholas I is wearing the red dress of the Chevaliers-Gardes regiment. This particular uniform was worn between 1815 and 1829.
We are grateful to Gerard Gorokhoff for his assistance in cataloguing the present work.