DORE, Gustave. Histoire Dramatique, Pittoresque et Caricaturale de la Sainte Russie, D'après les Chroniquers et Historiens Nestor, Nikan, Sylvestre, Karamsin, Segur, etc... , 207 pp. (printed on recto only), illustrated with 500 engraved illustrations by Gustave Doré cut onto woodblocks by Sotain. 4to, 290 x 195 mm., bound in contemporary brown quarter cloth over marbled boards, with the original front and rear wrappers preserved. Paris: [Lacour for] J. Bry Ainé, 1854.
First edition, early issue. Containing 500 surreal illustrations by Doré, this volume presents a blistering criticism of the tyranny of the Russian Czars. In the first issue, pages 89 and 97 have large blots of red ink, depicting "le regné d'Ivan-le-Terrible." In this copy there is a red blot on page 97, but page 89 is blank. The collaboration between Gustave Doré and the woodcutter Sotain represents an important moment in both artist's development.
"Sotain began engraving for the Magasin Pittoresque, having executed for Philipon the plates to Beau Monde by Gustave Doré. The understanding that Sotain had for his art, his methods, and his ingenuity, reassured the artist for this project. In the designs of this album, Gustave Doré voluntarily multiplied the details of the images which are not usually found in such clarity" (Valmy-Baysse, Gustave Doré p. 150). Binding repaired and a few spots but overall a fine copy of an extremely rare work.
Forberg, Gustave Doré: Das graphische Werk II, pp. 900-925. Leblanc, Catalogue de l'Oeuvre Complet de Gustave Dore, p. 135.
Item nr. 169256