Portrait of the Princess Alexandra Golitsyna with Her Son Piotr
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If you want converts, leave Sally Struthers at home. Send in Princess Alexandra, the hottie in a flame-colored dress instead.

Princess Alexandra converted from Russian Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism, a pretty ballsy move for a girl in the fanatically Orthodox Russian Imperial Court.  She then converted her husband and three of her five children, so successfully that her daughter became a nun, and two of her sons became missionaries.  She also converted several influential members of the Russian Court.  After all, who could say no to that angelic face?

The Princess also had surprising ties to the Big Apple and the Big Easy. Her daughter Yelizaveta (the nun) lived in convents in Manhattan and later in New Orleans, where she died of Yellow Fever. Little Piotr, the cherubic toddler in this picture, grew up to marry a girl who was in love with the famous hedonist poet, Denis Davydov.  Davydov liked to write poems about vodka and hookers…Russia’s two favorite pastimes. Why Piotr would want to marry a woman who was in love with another man (with a reputation as a libertine at that) is unclear, so we assume she must have been either really hot or really rich.  Or maybe Davydov gave her some pointers that proved indispensable to Piotr in the bedroom.

This portrait shows that in addition to evangelizing people, Princess Alexandra had a fabulous sense of style. With her deep orange dress (bordering on scarlet), and elegantly draped blue-green Grecian headscarf, she proves that Jackie O. wasn’t the first person to bring chic to the Catholic Church.

Louise Vigee Le Brun had a knack for making people (especially mothers and children) look gorgeous, and utilized this talent as an expat in the court of Catherine the Great after the Revolution drove her out of France.  She was a staunch royalist and former painter to Marie Antoinette who would rather suffer the Russian winter than deal with douchebags like Robespierre. She was popular in Russia for her flattery of nobility, and psychic abilities.  Supposedly she could foresee the future, and became a legend when she successfully predicted the King of Poland’s death (knowing when royalty is about to croak is a pretty useful skill among the nobles). There’s a detective show for you: Psychic Royal Artist, Miss Louise Investigates…somebody get the BBC on the phone!