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Ra et`s Album of litographs

Owner: MNIR
Inventory no.: 1639
Period: Modern History
Dated: 1848
Material: paper, typographic ink
Technique: lithography, printing
Size: H = 51.5 cm; W = 33.5 cm
Copyright: MNIR

Photo gallery Bibliogra e

Raffet`s Album of litographs

Text: Cornel-Constantin Ilie

Publishing place: Paris, France; Artist: Raffet, Denis Auguste Marie; Editor: Gihaut Freres, B

Typographer: Auguste Bry, 142 Rue du BacThe four volumes, accompanied by two atlases w
from “Voyage dans la Russie méridionale et la Crimée: par la Hongrie, la Valachie et la Mold
time in Paris, between 1840 and 1842. The work was going to be translated into several lang
published in several editions. The first volume contains the history of the Demidov expedition
information about the Romanian space. The following volumes are dedicated to the scientific
anatomy, geology etc.).

One of the two atlases contains drawings related to the scientific part of the expedition, the o
related to the “historic” part. The latter, made by Auguste Raffet, has 100 boards including th
artist during the expedition, among which there is a rich set of lithographs on the topic of the
including, besides Moldavia and Wallachia, Bessarabia – presented by the author in the cha
and Banat – included in the chapter dedicated to Hungary):

Berger du Bannat (Drenkova), 7 Juillet 1837/ A shepherd from Banat

Enfants Hongrois sortant de l’Ecole, Orșova, 8 Juillet 1837 / Hungarian children going to sch

Paysans Valaque (Valachie), 1837 / Wallachian peasants

Relai Moldave (Moldavie), 1837 / Relay station in Moldavia

La Jok – Danse Valaque, Tchernecz (Valachie) 9 Juillet 1837 / La Joc – A Wallachian dance

Tour de l`horloge bâtie pendant l`occupation turque. Giurgevo (Valachie) / The clock tower b

Barbier tsigane – foire de Giurgevo (Valachie), 11 Juillet 1837 / Gypsy barber – the fair in Giu

Foire de St. Pierre a Giurgevo (Valachie), 11 Juillet 1837 – Saint Peter’s Fair in Giurgiu

Eglise de Saint Georges, Bukharest (Valachie), 13 Juillet 1837 – Saint George’s Church

Assemblée générale des boyards, Bukharest (Valachie), 16 Juillet 1837 – The General Asse

Infanterie valaque défilant au pas de course – Bukharest (Valachie), 16 Juillet 1837 / Wallac

Ronde valaque exécutée par des tsiganes et dansée par les musiciens du 2e Regt. chez le p
Valachie, Bukharest, 16 Juillet 1837 / Wallachian Ronda played by gypsies and danced by th
Regiment at the palace of Prince Ghica, the ruler of Wallachia
Passage de Bouzéo (Valachie), 17 Juillet 1837 / Buzău Pass

Poste aux chevaux (Moldavie), 19 Juillet 1837 / Horse relay station

Famille tsigane en voyage (Moldavie), 19 Juillet 1837 / Gypsy family on the road

Vue de Yassi prise du balcon de l`Hotel de Saint-Petersbourg (Moldavie), 19 Juillet 1837 / Th

balcony of Sankt Petersburg Hotel

Eglise et tour des trois saints, Yassi (Modavie), 20 Juillet 1837 / The Trei Ierarhi Church

Cour générale de la quarantine de Skoulani (Bessarabie), 24 Juillet 1837 / The quarantine a

Eglise Grecque a Bukharest (Valachie), 15 Juillet 1837 / The Greek church in Bucharest

Halte d`une caravane moldave transportant du charbon (Bessarabie), 5 Août 1837 / The hal
was carrying coal

Poste aux chevaux (Bessarabie), 5 Août 1937 / Horse relay station

Arrivée a Kicheneff (Bessarabie), 4 Août 1837 / The arrival in Chișinău

Télègue de poste (Bessarabie), 1837 / Mail-cart

The atlas with boards owned by the National Museum of Romanian History is an edition from
Freres in Paris. The album has an introduction written by Demidov, the table of contents, the
the images and the 100 lithographs made by Raffet. Besides the ones referring to the Roma
lithographs that depict people and places from: Hungary, Crimea (the first and the second pa
(Ukraine), Turkey. Most of these lithographs are dedicated to the social types in Crimea. The
portraits of 12 of the expedition members: Demidov, Frederic Le Play, Auguste de Sainson, A
Huot, Raffet, Jean Henri Leveille, Adolphe Du Ponceau, Louis Rousseau, Paul Kolounoff, He

Some text boards and some lithographs are missing from the copy at NMRH. However, mos
separately, so the atlas could be completed. It is also worth mentioning that there are edition
are obviously rarer and more valuable from the artistic point of view.

The Demidov Expedition

In 1837, Prince Anatoli Demidov organized a scientific expedition, in which 22 specialists fro
The “scientific” coordinator of this adventure was Frédéric le Play, a French engineer, sociolo
of the expedition, which cost 500000 franks, were published in four volumes, to which two lit
published starting from 1838 and seeing more re-edits throughout time. Quite a generous sp
volume, is granted to the territory inhabited by Romanians, Demidov describing the history o
the Antiquity), administration, institutions, education, the legal system, the monetary system,
agriculture, livestock breeding), infrastructure, customs, mores, language, climate, demograp

Demidov’s expedition started on the 14th of June 1837, in Paris. From Budapest they travele
“Francisc I” ship. On the 7th of July they were at Drencova and on the 8th of July at Orşova.
ceases to be practicable for large ships, because of the crags and the sinuous and fast curre
obstruct and furrow the river bed of the Danube”. They continued the journey in flat-bottomed
admiring Tabula Traiana, “an impressive memory, which you are so surprised to find in this d
been still so Barbarian before Trajan brought his legions here”. At Orsova they are accommo
inn of this small town”. From here they would have wanted to continue their road on land to S
steam boat was waiting for them, passing through Mehadia, well known for its mineral water
times, but the flooding of the road ruined their plans. In Orsova, a city with “three perpendicu
and two other parallel streets (...), with few residents”, they visit a lazaretto, where they find a
himself as none other than the personal physician of prince Milos Obrenovici of Serbia!

They left Orsova by a new and bigger boat and passed by Ada-Kaleh, “a flat island, placed i
with grass and diverse vegetation, where groups of shacks, found in one of the saddest cond
Schela they continued the journey by “Agro”, a ship of the Austrian Danube navigation comp
and a crew made up of Romanians and Hungarians. The Romanian territory seems, at the fi
desolate and deserted plain, several huts of beaten earth covered with briars, this is the land
waiting for the departure of the steam ship at Schela”. Before the departure they visit the villa
where they are struck by the very Oriental aspect of the settlement, spreading “along a wind
eaves which further narrow the passage”. The shops are dirty and have repulsive goods; as
standing “idly” – the men were smoking while crouching in front of the doors, and the women
having “slow and idle“ conversations. At Cerneti they witnessed a Romanian dance which wa
originality”. They noticed the young Romanian sergeant “with a tall and proud head”, who wa
the “Bohemians” who were playing the violin, a character of an “admirable” beauty and which
stick hits with a “stupid obedience”.

After a journey without too many adventures they found themselves “under the fallen walls o
where they made demarches to gather the post horses, to take them to Bucharest. They gat
breed, thin, without a pedigree”, but which had “a special vivacity and energy and were as fa
were harnessed to two carts and headed towards the capital of Wallachia with a part of the t
be transported within the second “round”. For a few times they got stuck in the mud on the p
towns, which had few villages and travelers. However, they found the villages animated by th
dances of the robust swarthy peasants or by the “nasal voice of the old women who were ch
Dacian and Roman ears would have heard in the days of Decebalus and Trajan”.

They reached Bucharest on the evening of the 12th of July and they hardly found accommod
situated in the theater building”. Shortly afterwards, they received a visit from an officer, sent
while a permanent guard was sent to watch over the two carts. The first location visited in th
on the second day, they were going to be received, for one hour, by the ruler. Prior to the vis
see “the high society of this capital, who were having their daily ride, in their usual equipages

This walk does not leave much of a good impression, because it is taking part “on a big stree
where, every evening, you can meet “the whole elite of this nation which changes its mores d
costumes”. In the carriages they notice ladies and gentlemen dressed according to the weste
white beards and calpacs. While visiting Alexandru Ghica, they are impressed by the qualitie
“gentleman” with “a high spirit” and “respect and love for the public well-being”.

On the 13th of July 1837 the other travelers, who had remained at Giurgiu, reached Buchare
the city which “is a mixture of ruins and new buildings”. In the center of the town, there is “a c
in the middle; this area alone is as big as Giurgiu: this is the place where shops and coffee h
of smokers seated in a circle in front of the entrance. One could also see two or three inns, w
aspect, where the traveler couldn’t find anything to eat but sherbet and nowhere to sleep but

Near the town, a fair was held: “an almost endless plain, where a thick cloud of dust was risi
with tents, huts, carts and animals. And in this confusion without match, order or police, and
the traders were exposing their merchandise. They were selling fabrics, clothes, furs and foo
once again they notice the Romanian dance (“you could see fifty or sixty dancers, dressed in
circle dance”).

Demidov and his journey companions have time to visit Bucharest and make observations o
capital reveals itself to them as “a big town, whose streets packed with people accomodate v
replaces luxury. A whole neighborhood is filled with fur shops and tailors workshops. The str
width, are poorly lined and especially badly paved; some of them didn’t even have a paveme
nothing but cottages made of decaying wood, amongst which others with a more pretentious
travelers are impressed by “the wide variety of costumes and figures”. They visit the Museum
leave a sample of Siberian platinum, the Library, “which owns almost seven thousand volum
“young students wearing a beautiful uniform”. Then they visit the military hospital and the on
good impression on them. On the 15th of July they attended the meeting of the Public Assem
same day they were invited to the Ruler’s residence, and in the evening they went to the the
cheerful” German comedy. On the next day, they witnessed the Bucharest garrison maneuve
Constantin Ghica; afterwards, they went to a dinner party hosted by the Ruler, where, after th
Romanian dances (“We were so impressed by the severe precision and the dancers’ ensem
extend this entertainment for our pleasure; he also ordered that the musical compositions, fu
(…) which animate this Romanian dance, Hora Românească, should be transcribed for us”.
a ball held by the great boyar Filipescu, where they found a society that was “purely agreeab
constantly united with the sweetest joy”. “There was a venerable symbol of this country’s situ
pleasures and free manners of the Occident. The severe boyar robe was vainly trying to opp
fashion and frivolities”.

According to Demidov, Bucharest had over 60000 inhabitants, over 10000 houses, 26 mona
printing offices, two hospitals, two newspapers; the city was divided into five arrondissement
black. The usual food of the population was mămăliga (“cornmeal or millet porridge, a sort of
beverage was plum brandy.

They left Bucharest on the 17th of July, and for the rest of the journey through Wallachia, the
Alexandru Ghica, who sent word beforehand to “ensure an impeccable service for us”. They
aboard a ferry, but afterwards a storm took them by surprise on the plain that turned into a “d
managed to cross the Buzau River, which was whirling because of the flood, but they couldn
they spent a night in the carts and in the hovel of a peasant that “had nothing to offer them b
from a modest breed would have refused”. On the 18th of July they reached Ramnic, where
“built according to the Italian architecture”, owned by the boyar Niculescu, afterwards continu
they were welcomed by Gheorghe Razu, the “president of the district”.

In Moldavia, the convoy is accompanied by a group of gendarmes during the “oppresively m

the night in Barlad and on the 19th of July they continue their journey into a country “even m
to that part of Wallachia that we have seen while passing by.” Once they reach Iasi, they stop
“where the signs of one of the most hospitable courtesy were waiting for us”. The things wer
the hotel, with a sumptuous exterior, did not offer the comfort desired by some tired travelers
was received by the Ruler Mihail Sturdza, on which occasion he noted “a remarkable eloque
extraordinary education”. Iasi is a city which “offers a satisfying view: the modern buildings s
exterior cleanliness which the old edifices miss. Some streets are spacious and long, and in
wooden flooring, uncomfortable and pricy, which was once covering the public roads, was re
main street of the town is populated by a whole lineage of merchants, usurers, courtiers, bus
of whom are Israelites…”. The town has quite a few “remarkable” churches, of which the Tre
Moldavian boyars pay due respect to education and “the college attended by the young peop
gaining importance every day”.

On the 24th of July the expedition reached the customs in Sculeni, where the travelers stopp
On the 4th of August they reached Chișinau, from where they would continue their journey to

The correct and balanced attitude that Demidov had towards the Romanians (between other
Dacian-Roman origins) is to be appreciated. As Nicolae Iorga was saying, Demidov left “one
organic statutes in the Principalities.

Auguste Raffet (1804 - 1860)

Denise Auguste Marie Raffet was born on 1st of March 1804, in Paris. His father, Claude-Ma
Napoleon I, and after he left the army, he dealt with commerce before becoming a postal cle
in the Bois de Boulogne woods. The period which followed was harsh for the little Auguste, f
due to the financial struggle. He worked as a woodcrafter to make a living; with the money h
classes, standing out through his great talent and specializing in porcelain decoration. In 182
École des Beaux-Arts in Switzerland and the next year he published his first drawing album w
figures. Afterwards he worked in the workshop of the master Charlet from Moussy-le-Vieux,
lithography; he then moves into the workshop of Master Gros, where he realizes a series of
Antiquity. He starts being more and more solicited, his drawings illustrating the books of Wal

In 1837 he accompanied the prince Anatoli Demidov in his scientific journey that was organiz
and Crimea. A beautiful friendship was going to form between him and the Russian Prince, w
the artist’s life, Raffet was also going to take part in the expedition that Demidov organized in
published lithographs published in the Demidov album, Raffet left a multitude of other drawin
published posthumously, in which information referring to the Romanian space can be found

He died at Genova, on the 16th of February 1860; he was buried in Paris in the Montpamass
Anatoli Demidov (1813-1870)

He was part of a rich Russian family, which earned its wealth after the mining exploitations in
father, Nikolai Nikitici Demidov, was an ambassador in Paris and following his death in 1828,
visiting his native homeland. He also held the nobility title of Count of San Donato, after purc
same name from the Duke of Toscana. He spent lots of money on goodwill actions and for s
Even so, he did not earn the appreciation of Tsar Nicholai I, to whom he dedicated the volum
in 1837. In 1842 he was elected as a member of the Swedish Royal Science Academy. He w
the daughter of Jerome Bonaparte, the former king of Westphalia during Napoleon’s reign.

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