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V is for Vrouw

V is for Vrouw, a word that means woman. I think it is fitting that during this Women’s History Month … that we celebrate one of history’s greatest women!



The Vrouw Maria (Lady Maria) was a Dutch wooden merchant ship that was carrying valuable works of art … some of which belonged to Catherine the Great. The ship launched from Amsterdam in September 1771 headed for St. Petersburg, but sank a month later. The crew was saved, but not the cargo. Catherine had bought several paintings and collectibles in Amsterdam, so there was a record of what was on board, but no efforts were made to retrieve the contents.

Many people have looked for the ship over the centuries and finally, in 1991, it was found. However, Finland proclaims that the cargo is theirs … and still … little has been done to salvage the contents of the ship.


In a nutshell, Catherine the Great was brave and strong willed ... and she built an incredible Russian Empire. She may have been a little bit naughty but at the same time, she built schools and churches and great works of architecture. She had wealth beyond most of our imaginations and taking one look at the photo collages I’ve included in this post … might give us some idea of the kinds of valuables that sit at the bottom of the Baltic Sea!

These things are part of a museum collection of
Catherine's vast collection of jewels.


These portraits of Catherine clearly reflect her style.

 


I'm partying with Alphabet Thursday, so make sure you visit Jenny to see all the other posts!  V is for vrouw and Catherine the Great was certainly a memorable vrouw!