Catherine the Great’s lost boudoir
Catherine II of Russia, better known as Catherine the Great, didn’t have it easy. Her rise to power, her rule, her political revolution and her colorful personal life would make Game of thrones blush. It is no wonder that she dealt with the stress of political intrigues and conspiracies in the oldest of fashions, seeking quality time with her many high-profile lovers and indulging in the sort of debauchery only a czarina could.
Her enemies used her fame as a dissolute woman as a weapon against her quite often, exaggerating her lewd reputation. When she died – of a stroke while on the toilet, Elvis-style – the news was frequently reported, in example, as a sexual accident involving a horse… and some still believe the legend to this day. This may be the reason for which, when Soviet troops raided her palace in Pushkin (now Tsarskoye Selo) during the Second World War, they weren’t much surprised by finding her outlandish boudoir.
Instead of destroying it they documented the discovery with a dozen of photos including «a whole wall of wooden phalluses of all sizes and shapes» and just moved on. The room contents were in fact well known to a selected few: they had been even neatly catalogued in the Thirties along with the rest of the huge collection of pornography and erotic art amassed by the Romanov family – but the list was destroyed shortly after the war with other imperialist symbols.
In the fury of the revolution the sex room was razed too, and its contents stolen or destroyed. Half of those amazing photos went lost, while the remaining ones resurfaced only recently allowing us a glimpse in the erotic life of one of the most powerful women of all the time. Enjoy.