From the Wkipedia "Annushka was a pupil and a serf of Varvara Sheremetev. In her hands she holds the portrait of her late benefactor." Annushka hails from the Kalmyk people, a group of Mongols living in a region now split between Russia, China, and Mongolia.
If you've been paying attention, you've noticed that Annushka has been my icon since the beginning of this blog.
She was painted by Ivan Argunov, who also painted portraits of people like Empress Catherine II:
An acquaintance recently asked why I chose Annushka for my avatar.
1. Because she's lovely and I love her clothes.
2. Because she's from the time period I write about, the Era of Revolution.
3. Because the Mongols and other peoples of the Eurasian Steppes and their lifestyles and history are another of my favorite historical topics, that I hope to write well about someday.
4. As I am fond of saying, history is more complicated than we often imagine. Here we find the same clothing styles being worn by colonists in the New World and Mongols in Russia.
5. I love to contemplate the mix and evolution of cultures.