Our Notes & References
A hunting poem beautifully decorated by one of the leading book illustrators of the time. This is an offspring of the celebrated Imperial Hunt [Tsarskaia Okhota], in whose second volume it was published in 1898.
Mey, a popular Russian writer and translator of the 1850s, had already passed away some 38 years before, at the relatively young age of 40. However, the poem fitted perfectly in Kutepov’s major work, because it is dedicated to the hunt of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. Samokish’s talent was flourishing at the time: he illustrated many great works of Russian literature, and this particular publication displays his remarkable skills as book designer.
Each leaf is printed on the recto only and each page shows research in the design, the fonts, the colours. It combines brilliantly ornaments, text and figurative illustrations. Produced in one of the best presses of Imperial Russia, the book makes a lavish use of chromolithography, including gold printing. (This same press published the Imperial Hunt itself and many other prestigious books, as well as Bilibin’s famous children books.)
Separately published, uncommon such.