Catherine I 1684-1727
Catherine I was originally peasant
Marta first married
Peter the Great and then ruled
as empress of Russia herself from 1725 until 1727.
How did Miss Skowronska attract the Czar's attention?
When she was 18 years old, Marta Skowronska was captured by the Russians during the
Great Northern War. Peter made big
eyes when he saw her, and for a similar reason they were blessed with
a child sooner than they could get officially married, which they did in 1712.
The Russian Orthodox church opted for a name change from Peasant Martha
to Yekaterina Alekseyevna.
Catherine and Peter welcomed their daughter
Oil on canvas by
State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg