The present work takes as its basis the celebrated portrait of Peter the Great by Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766), painted in 1717 and held in the collection of the Residenz Museum in Munich. The composition is however best known from the version held in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The present work is listed in the 1866 inventory of the Monrepos estate, carried out after the death of the son of Paul Ludwig Heinrich Nicolay (1737-1820) and is also captured in a circa 1935 photograph hanging in the billiard room. The estate near Vyborg, some eighty miles to the northwest of St Petersburg was named 'MonRepos' by Prince Friedrich I of Wurtemberg (1754-1816), a brother of Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna (1759-1828), the second wife of future Emperor Paul I (1754-1801) after it came into his possession. Both the estate and its contents were bequeathed to Baron Ludwig Heinrich Nicolay following Tsar Paul's assassination in 1801. Nicolay was born in Strasbourg and graduated in law before moving to Paris where he became acquainted with Voltaire, Diderot, d'Alembert and other keys figures of the Age of Enlightenment. He was invited to Russia to teach the future Emperor Paul I in 1769. When Paul became Emperor he promoted Nicolay to a member of the cabinet and President of the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences.