A VERY RARE original signed photograph of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna wearing nun’s attire.
4 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (10,5 x 15,6 cm)
Signed in Russian:
In 1905, her husband Grand Duke Sergei (uncle of Nicholas II, and Governor General of Moscow) was killed by a bomb thrown by a revolutionist when he was descending from his carriage in the Kremlin. Following her husband’s murder, deeply religious Elizabeth, became a nun and founded the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent in Moscow dedicated to helping the unfortunate.
During the 1917 revolution Elizabeth was arrested and sent to Alapayevsk (the Urals). On July 18, 1918 after cruel beating she was thrown alive down a mineshaft with the other detainees. Hand grenades were then hurled down the shaft, but only one victim died as a result of the explosion. A large quantity of brushwood was shoved into the opening and set alight.
Shortly after her murder, the town was captured by the White army. The bodies of Ella and five other members of the Romanov family were excavated. The investigation established that while in the mineshaft, the Grand Duchess managed to bandage the head of Prince Ioan Konstantinovich who was dying next to her.
Her remains were taken to Jerusalem, where they are kept today in the Russian Church of Maria Magdalene which was built by emperor Alexander III with the help of her husband Sergei and herself (she supervised the artwork) in 1886.
During the inauguration ceremony in 1888, the 24-year-old Elizabeth told several onlookers that she wanted to be buried within its walls.
Recently, Elizabeth was canonized as saint of the Russian Orthodox Church, St. Elizabeth Romanova .
She is one of the ten 20th-century martyrs from across the world who are depicted in statues above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey in London.
Personal belongings of Elizabeth found with her remains are displayed above the coffin.
Church of Maria Magdalene on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.