1813 TRAVELLING SKETCHES IN RUSSIA AND SWEDEN, WITH MORE THAN 30 HAND-COLORED PLATES
(RUSSIA) (SWEDEN) PORTER, Robert Ker. Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden During the Years 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808. London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1813. Two volumes bound in one. Quarto, 20th-century three-quarter green morocco gilt, raised bands. $3800.
Second edition of this epistolary travelogue through Russia and Sweden at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, with 30 hand-colored plates (two folding), 12 hand-tinted aquatints (one folding), and one uncolored etching.
Porter (1777-1842) earned considerable recognition as an artist by the time he was in his twenties, and in 1804 was appointed historical painter to the czar of Russia. Less than two years later problems in Porter's courtship of a Russian princess led to his hasty exit (he later returned and married her). He traveled from there through Finland and Sweden, where he was knighted by Gustavus IV. His Travelling Sketches recounts his journey through Sweden and the various regions in Russia he visited while employed by the czar. Porter's position as the royal historical painter provided him broad access to people and places, and his narrative is particularly strong in relating visual and graphic details. The plates depict a range of subjects, from religious and cultural landmarks to the strata of rich and poor inhabitants of the country. First published in 1809. See Abbey, Travel 13. Tooley 383. Bookplate.
Mild offsetting from plates to text, plates generally clean. Light rubbing to binding, spine toned to brown. An extremely good, attractively bound copy.