Large original drawing showing the departure of the Russian Imperial Fleet from the port of Sebastopol on the Black Sea on 22 August 1837.
This is a rare contemporary full view of the bay and the port in its heyday, before the dramatic changes brought by the Crimean War in 1853-56. It was at the time undergoing a rapid development under the direction of the Commander of the Ports of the Black Sea, Admiral M.P. Lazarev.
The drawing was lithographed after the French artist Auguste Raffet (1804-60) and published under No. 48 in the famous work by Anatole Demidoff “Voyage dans la Russie meridionale et la Crimee, par la Hongrie, la Valachie et la Moldavie” in 1848. The lithographed plate follows the sketch in every detail, additionally showing a close-up of a pasture field and a road on the foreground.
Raffet accompanied Count Anatoliy Nikolaevich Demidov, Prince of San Donato (1812-70) on his expedition to Ukraine and Crimea, the Russian territorial acquisitions in the south, that he launched in 1837 at his own expense. The trip lasted a little over four months during which time Raffet produced numerous sketches. He quickly decided to publish them, discussing it with the lithographers Gihault brothers on his return to France.
The account was first published in 1840 in a reduced format and with only 27 plates, without this view of Sebastopol. The full-scope publication was delayed by ten years, due to the artist’s perfectionism. The results were astonishing: Raffet’s images are a fascinating depiction of the landscape and architecture of a region little known to western Europeans at that time.
Original drawing in ink on 4 sheets of paper joint together, mounted, framed and glazed. Dimensions of the panorama: 22 x 130 cm. Overall dimensions: 35.5 x 145 cm.
Stock ID: 90681