Catherine the Great, a Dutch Golden Age masterpiece, and a shipwreck

In 1771, a merchant ship out of Amsterdam, Vrouw Maria, crashed off the stormy Finnish coast, taking her historic cargo to the depths of the Baltic Sea. The vessel was delivering a dozen Dutch masterpiece paintings—including The Nursery by Rembrandt’s student Gerrit Dou—to Catherine the Great. The Tsarina’s Lost Treasure (Simon & Schuster | Pegasus Books, 2020), a new book by Boston College scholar Gerald Easter and travel writer Mara Vorhees, combines art, history, and maritime mystery into a gripping tale of the loss and recovery of Vrouw Maria. Easter is a professor of political science who teaches and writes about Russian/East European politics and history. The book was highlighted by Smithsonian magazine. An excerpt was published by the Daily Beast.

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