Tolstoy's mother, M. N. Tolstaia (Volkonskaia), in the early 1800s (at the age of nine or ten) by an unknown artist
1830 – Tolstoy's mother (b. 1790) died when he was less than three years old. Tolstoy did not remember how she looked, and no portrait of her existed except for a silhouette made when she was about nine years old. Tolstoy treasured the memory of his mother his entire life.
In his very first published work Childhood, the mother of the main character dies. The pure and spiritually rich Princess Maria from War and Peace is one of several literary incarnations of Tolstoy's mother.