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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Catherine Pavlovna

b. 1788, Saint Petersburg; d. 1819, Stuttgart, Germany

Catherine Pavlovna (Pawlowna) was the daughter of Paul I, emperor of Russia. Her first marriage, to Duke George of Oldenburg, left her a widow in 1812. In 1816, she married Wilhelm, crown prince of Württemberg; shortly after, they succeeded to the throne, with their court at Stuttgart. Württemberg became a center of liberalism in nineteenth-century Germany, in no small part due to the enlightened views of Catherine and her husband. In her brief reign as queen, Catherine modernized the educational system, established social welfare agencies for the care of children and the poor, and founded an agricultural school for the improvement of rural conditions (now Hohenheim University).