Mikhail Zichy arrived at the Russian court in 1847 at the age of 18 and had the rare privilege of working for no less than four Emperors during his artistic career. Every hunt, ball and court ceremony was covered by the Hungarian artist.
Like the French artist, Gustave Doré, Zichy had much enthusiasm for artistic fantasy and allegorical compositions. In the early 1850s, Zichy, like so many young men in Russia, became fascinated by the Caucasus and its romanticism.
Despite not having been to the Caucasus himself, the court artist acted without the approval of Emperor Nicholas I and illustrated his vision of the region. In 1852 he produced twelve lithographs: 1) The secret; 2) The watercarriers; 3) Foragers; 4) The body of an enemy; 5) Abduction; 6) Vengeance; 7) Return; 8) Heroic deed; 9) First wound; 10) Departure; 11) Prayer; 12) The Spy. The present lot includes all but the first lithograph entitled 'The secret'. An additional lithograph entitled 'The shot' is usually considered to be part of this group.