John Hayes speech mentioned this painting by Daniel Maclise of Peter the Great, Tsar and founder of modern Russia.
Peter is not the posh gent to the right that is the English King William III, the scene is the shipyard at Deptford and Peter was there to learn from the English shipwrights who were some of the best in the world. Peter is the young chap with sleeves rolled up and saw in hand to the left.
How wonderful to think of such a modern, forward thinking monarch delighting in handwork. Peter spent much time traveling in Europe searching out the best of ideas and technologies to introduce to Russia, he spent 4 months working in the Dutch shipyards. He was also a talented turner particularly fascinated by ornamental turning lathes. A contemporary described his daily routine when back home.
“The sovereign wakes up very early. From three to four o’clock in the morning he attends the secret council. Then he goes to the shipyard and keeps his eye on shipbuilding. He often works himself, as he knows the job in details. At nine or ten o’clock he is busy with the turner’s work in which the Tsar is so skilled that would be in no way inferior to anybody.”