Daria Aleksandrovna Valueva, was of the Koshelev family, whose status was elevated by the Imperial family. In 1772 she married Peter Stepanovich Valuev (1745-1814), a gentleman of the bedchamber from an ancient but impoverished noble family. Thanks to his wife's relatives, Valuev had a brilliant career: Senator (1796), Head (Chief of Ceremonies) of the Moscow Palace Administration and Kremlin Office. Daria Aleksandrovna owned the village of Nikolskoe-Timonino near Moscow. Nine children (four sons and five daughters) resulted from her marriage. During the Napoleonic Wars, her sons served in the army. One of them, Peter, died a heroic death at Borodino. Daria Aleksandrovna was buried beside her husband in the Novodevichy cemetery.
The portrait of D. A. Valueva was executed by Borovikovsky in 1798, at the height of his creative career. She is depicted with the Order of St Catherine, Second Class, which she received 5 April 1797 on the occasion of Paul I’s coronation. This portrait was formally in the collection of her grandson, Petr Aleksandrovich Valuev, Minister of the Interior. At the start of the 20th century, the painting was in the collection of Peter Mikhailovich Romanov, Minister of Finance and a passionate collector of significant XVIII and early XIX century portraits, which were exhibited in St Petersburg more than once.
We are grateful to Dr Ludmila Markina, Director of the 18th and 19th century paintings department at the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, for providing this note.