Russia has always been famous for the beauty of its women. And there were beauties in Russian history that neither tsars nor mere mortals could resist.
Out of the huge number of applicants brought to the bridal show of brides from all over Russia, Ivan the Terrible chose Anastasia. It is difficult to say with certainty what influenced the choice of the tsar to a greater extent. Perhaps, the 17-year-old groom's attention was focused on one of the thousand beauties by his guardian - Mikhail Yuryevich, who was Anastasia's uncle. It is known that the queen was short. Her regular features were framed by long, thick, dark blond hair. As Karamzin wrote, "her contemporaries attributed all female virtues to her," while beauty was considered "an essential part of the happy Tsar's bride." She managed to conquer not only her husband's heart, but also to win popular love. And to do this, being only beautiful, was hardly possible. Her image became a symbol of a wise woman, capable, as Dorset wrote, "with amazing meekness and intelligence" to control a hot-tempered husband.
It seemed that there was no person at the court of Catherine II who would have kept silent about the beauty of the young maid of honor - Maria Chetvertinskaya. Derzhavin wrote: "With black eyes with lights, with her magnificent chest, she feels, sighs, a tender soul is visible, and she herself does not know what is more good than everyone." Kutuzov joked that if there is such a woman as Maria among women, then they should be loved. Her beauty was perfect, and as one of his contemporaries wrote, "it seemed impossible." At the age of 16, she marries Prince Dmitry Naryshkin, and after a while becomes the favorite of Tsar Alexander I. Their relationship will last 15 years. The Naryshkin family will have four children, and only the first daughter Marina Dmitry Lvovich will consider his own (although, according to rumors, her father was the former favorite of the queen, Platon Zubov).
Baroness Vrevskaya was considered the first beauty of St. Petersburg for two decades. In poetic prose, her friend Turgenev wrote that "the ladies envied her, and the men dragged after her." Sollogub spoke of her captivating image, in which she was fascinated not only by her appearance, femininity and grace, but also by "endless friendliness and endless kindness." But the boredom of the high society of the lady-in-waiting Vrevskaya in 1877 without hesitation changed to a true life. During the Russo-Turkish War, she became a sister of mercy and devoted herself to serving her neighbor, "knowing no other happiness." While the high society slandered about the "extravagant trick", the Baroness went after the wounded, changing bandages for five hours, sleeping on straw, assisting with amputations, and carrying soldiers out of the battlefield. In February 78, they were digging the frozen ground and carrying a coffin with the body of a "sister" when, during an epidemic of typhus, Yulia Petrovna died.
"Tatar Venus" - so called the young beauty Paris of the middle of the XIX century. A provincial woman from the Kostroma province conquered not only both Russian capitals, but also Europe. She shone, in the words of Prince Obolensky, "at the seaside bathing, in Biaritsa and Ostend." One of the portraits by Franz Winterhalter still fascinates visitors to the Orsay Museum in Paris. She competed with the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte Eugenia, and the popularity of Varenka could be envied by today's "socialite". Varvara Dmitrievna's witty jokes were passed on from mouth to mouth, and fans tirelessly admired "the most beautiful legs in Europe." The outspoken outfits of a star of high society have more than once become the cause of a scandal. Once she was allegedly asked to leave the ball because of the "too transparent dress." At the masquerade ball in the winter of 63, she arrived in the attire of a priestess of Tanith, which was sewn from gauze.When another admirer called her down the aisle, the Russian goddess answered each time: "My husband is handsome, smart, wonderful, much better than you."
The beauty of one of the richest aristocrats in Russia could not leave indifferent. Here is how son Felix wrote about his mother: "Tall, thin, graceful, dark and black-haired, with eyes shining like stars." The magnificent appearance was complemented by a sharp mind, education and kindness. Knowing about her merits, the princess never boasted of them, demonstrating her simplicity and modesty to those around her. Possessing the world's finest jewelry, she only wore them on special occasions, preferring modest dresses with a minimum of jewelry. Princess Yusupova was very artistic. At one of the balls, the emperor asked her to perform "Russian". The dance captivated everyone so much that it was called for an encore five more times. Stanislavsky himself assured that the real appointment of Zinaida Nikolaevna was the stage. But she preferred to act as a benefactor, supporting someone else's talent, rather than showing her own.
She could never have become "the adornment and glory of the Russian ballet" if she had not seen the dance of the Italian Virginia Tsuki. Later, in her memoirs, Kshesinskaya will write about "amazing facial expressions, which gave extraordinary charm to classical dance." Despite her short stature and "plump legs", she won over the members of the selection committee of the Imperial Theater School "with glowing eyes and charming manners." Contemporaries often spoke of her eyes: "dark, shiny, reminiscent of two sweet abysses." The only ballerina at that time who performed a fouette in 32 turns, she made the audience freeze with delight. Among the admirers of the ballerina are the future Nicholas II, as well as the Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich and Andrei Vladimirovich.
She was released by fate only 26 years old, but during this time, from an unusual girl with a great appetite, she turned into the queen of Russian silent cinema with a multimillion army of fans. The director Gardin, who first met Vera, described her beauty as "alluring and poisonous" at the same time. To "see the Cold", people lined up in huge queues. In Kharkov, for example, horse-drawn dragoons pacified the crowd that stormed the cinema, and then the leadership had to insert broken glass and change the doors torn off the hinges. The actress herself was surprised at such popularity. Sometimes she went to the screening of a film with her participation in order to observe the reaction of the public. For four years of filming, her eyes of the biblical martyr and the capriciously curved line of her mouth were able to completely conquer the audience, who in the cinematographs forgot about the horrors of the First World War and the troubles of the 17th.