Anatoly N. Demidoff: Viaggio nella Russia meridionale e nella Crimea, per l’Ungheria, la Moldavia e la Valachia, fatto nel 1837, Torino: Stabilimento tipografico Fontana 1841
Signature: FF 180 4413 raro V
Figures: Frontispiece; p. 161; “Droschi a Odessa” (pp. 164-165); “Tragitto sul Mar Nero. Pacchetto a vapore il Pietro I” (pp.180-181)
Anatoly Nikolayevich Demidov (1813–1870), prince of San Donato, a member of an eminent noble Russian family, started to travel across Crimea and South Russia in 1837, with a team of artists, archeologists, and journalists. From the 1840s onwards, he started to publish his journey’s reports about those territories.
With Odesa, the ‘young and flourishing capital of the new Russia’ (cf. p. 161), as the headquarters of travel, the main aim of the publications was ‘to bring to the attention of those who love the progress of civil society, the marvelous achievements and splendid hopes of those peoples and that land which, half a century ago, were only known under fabulous names’ (cf. p. VI).
Demidoff documented information about the country and the city, whose history he said can still be read in the structure of the city. The French painter Auguste Raffet (1804–1860) drew pictures – called ‘picturesque models’ – of different populations: Jews, Karaites, Moldavians, Turks, inhabitants of Little Russia (the historical exonym for Ukraine) and Russians of Old Russia.
The prince of San Donato considered the history’s knowledge essential to understanding how Odesa became so prosperous and to foresee the future of a city he saw as the ‘Marseille of the Black Sea’ (cf. p. 165). [VC]