RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL ASIA
2 0002 500
a Volume with 38 Watercolours. [c. 1820]. Album (33.3 x 25.7 cm). 38 watercolours, almost all with descriptive manuscript captions in French, protected by tissue guards. Contemporary red morocco backed boards, spine with gilt lettering and tooling in compartments; slightly rubbed, corners slightly bumped. Fine collection of watercolours attractively bound and showing scenes and costumes from everyday life in the Russian Empire. The artist’s attention is here largely drawn to the peoples of Central Asia and the Urals, represented in 25 watercolours. These include depictions of the people of Kazan, Kyrgyzia, Bashkiria, Mongolia and outer China, mostly shown against landscapes typical of their regions. The artist also sketches scenes from the lives of common Russian people, such as the baptism of a child, traditional games on the outskirts of the village, and drinking in a public house. These watercolours were created at a time when interest in Russian culture and lifestyle was growing, especially among Europeans. Many illustrated books on the subject were published during the first two decades of the XIX century, and it is here that the artist is likely to have found inspiration for his drawings. Provenance: Brooklyn Public library (stamp on lower edge of album).