Our Notes & References
Important publication covering in detail all events, fronts and participants of the 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war, and especially remarkable for its wealth of illustrations, some being wide double-page views. They include portraits of participants from all sides, mostly Russian and Ottoman, some full-page; views of landscapes, cities, terrestrial and naval battle-scenes; scenes of civil and military life (such as the Russian Dragons beating the corn!); military costumes as well as types and traditional costumes of various peoples. A few maps can be found too, including one of the Black Sea and a coloured map of the Balkans after the Treaty of San Stefano (II, 439).
Some illustrations were engraved after live drawings made by the publisher’s own correspondents sent to the fronts. One of them was the renowned artist N. Karazin, a master of book design and illustration. Sent to the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief on the Danube, he created some of the most dramatic illustrations for Goppe’s publication, most full page.
The Illustrated Chronicle of War was influential in shaping the Russian public opinion on foreign policy, through lavish use of visual representations. Although the focus was on the struggle of the Slavs for liberation from the Ottoman Empire, the work also aimed at entertaining and showing all sides of the conflict. It includes in particular:
– from the Caucasian front, parts of the Georgian coast (Batumi), Kars, Arzrum, and the Crimea;
– from the Balkans, views of Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and the impressive 1.5-m. long folding panorama of the Russian army crossing the Danube (end of vol. 1);
– from the Turkish side, views of Gallipoli, Constantinople (incl. two double-page panoramas; II, 292 and 316), Turkish soldiers (incl. “Turkish Circassians”) and prisoners, forts, battleships;
– an English agent and a double-page view of the English navy (I, 229; II, 308).
A prominent publisher, Hermann Hoppe (German Goppe; 1836—85) created Vsemirnaia Illiustratsiia [World Illustration], the first Russian illustrated weekly for family reading, which lasted almost 30 years, from 1869 to 1898. The Illustrated Chronicle of War appeared as a luxurious and dense supplement to Vsemirnaia Illustratsiia (Vol. 1: № 1-50, Vol. 2: № 51-105). It was printed by Hermann’s brother, Eduard, who owned the Printing House of St Petersburg Imperial Theatres, one of the best printing establishments of the capital.
An attractive example of these scarce folio volumes, here in the original publisher’s binding.
Avenir Nizoff (émigré, pianist, who lived in Edmonton, Canada, in the second half of the 20th century, and gathered a very large library of Russian works, focusing on history among other themes).
Kochukova O.V., and Kochukov S.A.. “”Vsemirnaia illiustratsiia” v sozdanii khudozhestvennykh obrazov Russko-turetskoi voiny 1877-1878 gg.”, in Istoriia i istoricheskaia pamiat, no. 17, 2018, pp. 157-175.