The ruler portrait as a genre first arose thousands of years ago together with a national identity formation in Mesopotamia and the Nile Valley.
The portraits of this genre emphasized the human dignity, majesty, solemnity, and of course the similarity, but there was not any psychological content in the painting.
There are many historical researches and biographical novels devoted to the rulers, but portraits also can say a lot about the personality of the ruler.
Estonia was ruled by the Russian Tsars up to the year 1917. Therefore there are very many portraits of the members of the Royal Family in the Estonian museums.
And the most important thing is that they have survived to the present day. May be there are even more portraits of the Romanov Family in the Estonian museums than in the Russian museums.
Johann Köhler – a kind of phenomenon – was the first Estonian professional painter, who created about 30 portraits of Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II, their wives and other attendants.
Nowadays the portraits of the Romanov Family members have been exhibited again...