SIMPSON, William (1823-1899), Carlo BOSSOLI (1815-1884), The Hon. Sir George CADOGAN (1814-1880). An album of original watercolours, titled Souvenirs of the Crimean War. [Crimea: c. 1854-56].
Large 2° (672 x 528mm). 16 mounted original drawings, including 14 in watercolour and 2 in pen-and-ink, by William Simpson, Carlo Bossoli, George Cadogan, and 'CM', various sizes, most with loosely inserted manuscript titles in a single hand on Windsor Castle blindstamped note-paper. Contemporary dark-purple morocco gilt, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges (extremities rubbed and with some discoloration).
AN IMPORTANT ALBUM OF FINE WATERCOLOURS GATHERING SOME OF THE FINEST WORK OF SIMPSON AND BOSSOLI -- TWO OF THE GREATEST ARTISTS TO PRODUCE A FIRST-HAND RECORD OF THE CRIMEAN CAMPAIGN. The album also includes watercolours by George Cadogan, a Colonel in the Eastern campaign and accomplished amateur artist, who sketched scenes witnessed while on active duty in the Crimea. His drawings in an album kept by the Cadogan family were recently published in Cadogan's Crimea. The Crimean campaign generated enormous interest in royal and aristocratic circles. Queen Victoria herself purchased watercolours directly from Bossoli, and commissioned drawings by Simpson from the front. It is likely that the compiler of this album was close to the Royal Family; the manuscript captions on Windsor Castle notepaper also suggest this. George Cadogan's sisters, Lady Augusta Sarah (1811-1882) and Lady Honoria Louisa (1813-1904) were closely linked to Queen Victoria, and provide a possible link between the three artists.
The album includes the following (titles given are usually those provided on loosely inserted sheets):
1. [George Cadogan]. 'Crimea The Commanders in Chief of British French & Turkish forces. 1854, and H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge'. (176 x 255mm) on toned paper, pencil and watercolour.
2. George Cadogan. 'Crimea Guards on the March 1854'. (166 x 251mm) on toned paper, pencil and watercolour, signed 'G.C.' in ink.
3. Carlo Bossoli. 'The River Tchernaya near Tchergoun about 4 miles N.E. of Balaklava'. (250 x 352mm), watercolour and bodycolour, signed 'C.Bossoli 1855' in pencil. The lithographic version of this image appears in The Beautiful Scenery as 'The River Alma. As seen on the road from Simferopol to Bakchi-Sarai. In the background rises the Tchatyr Dagh, the highest mountain of the peninsula.'
4. [George Cadagon]. 'Battle of the Alma 1854'. (245 x 350mm) on toned paper, pencil and watercolour.
5. Carlo Bossoli. 'Sebastopol taken from a watch tower in the centre of the town'. (262 x 422mm), watercolour and bodycolour, signed 'C.Bossoli', the title from The Seat of War in the East. The highest building in front is the library; on the right is the Cathedral, Admiralty Tower, the Military Port, Fort St Paul, the docks and part of the Marine Suburb; on the left is the Artillary Bay, and beyond, the Gulf, in the background, Fort Constantine, the Northen Fortress and the Inkerman lighthouses.
6. Carlo Bossoli. 'The ruins of the Castle, & the harbour of Balaklava 1855'. (260 x 406mm), watercolour and bodycolour, signed 'C.Bossoli 1855' in pencil (see The Beautiful Scenery, plate 18).
7. [William Simpson]. 'Charge of the Heavy Brigade Balaklava. 1854.' (181 x 533mm) Panoramic views of Balaklava, on two joined sheets of toned paper, watercolour and bodycolour.
8. [George Cadogan]. 'Inkermann 1854.' (170 x 250mm) on toned paper, pencil and watercolour.
9. 'Before Sebastopol. April.1855'. (174 x 248mm), pencil and watercolour, signed with [CM?] monogram, inscribed as title lower right, titled on inserted sheet, 'Marshal Canrobert Reviewing French Troops 1855 Lt.Jones.H.M.46th.Regt. in foreground'.
10. William Simpson. 'Guards Camp above Balaklava'. (350 x 500mm), pencil, watercolour and bodycolour, signed lower left 'Wm. Simpson June 1855'.
11. George Cadogan. 'Marshal Pelissier 1855'. (311 x 223mm) on toned paper, watercolour and bodycolour, inscribed in ink at foot of sheet 'from a sketch taken from nature at French Head quarters before Sebastopol April 11. 1855 G.Cadogan'.
12. George Cadogan. 'In the Valley of Baidar Crimea'. (252 x 354mm) on toned paper, watercolour and bodycolour, signed 'G.C.' in ink, with facing small format (193 x 170mm) 'key' watercolour sketch, on toned paper, numbered in ink with 17 figures identified beneath (including '5 Colonel Cadogan (English Commissioner)') and with title above 'Key to the "Halte en reconnaissance" a sketch of the principal members of the Head Quarters staff Sardinian Contingent in the Crimea drawn from nature June 1855'.
13. 'C'etait rempli de cadavres comme un pr de marguerites - (Marshal Pelissier describing the field of the Tchernaya).' (203 x 158mm), pen and ink, signed with [?CM] monogram and inscribed as title. 14. William Simpson. 'Burial Ground at Cathcarts Hill. Sebastopol (Malakoff firing on the right)'. (241 x 395mm), pencil, watercolour and bodycolour, signed 'Wm. Simpson 1856'.
15. '9 Septr. 1855.' (186 x 156mm), pen and ink, signed with [CM?] monogram.
16. Carlo Bossoli. [Review of troops in ?Sebastopol] (263 x 440mm), watercolour and bodycolour, signed in pencil 'C.Bossoli'.
William Simpson was asked to go to the Crimea by P. and D. Colnaghi as a war artist and on his return in 1855 published The Seat of War in the East, dedicated to Queen Victoria. Carlo Bossoli, who had spent most of his youth in Odessa, went to the Crimea in 1855 to cover the war. Following his move to London in 1856 he published The Beautiful Scenery and Chief Places of Interest. The Cadogan album contains preparatory sketches for the 'In the valley of Baidar', the finished version of which is in the present album.