c 1770. Seven beautiful watercolors of Eastern Russian folk people in local dress. These are most likely copied from one of Pallas' books, "Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des russischen Reichs" (1771–76), later published in English “Journey Through Various Provinces of the Russian Empire”. They all bear penciled numbers in the lower right, possibly correlating with plates in a Pallas work.
Three paintings have manuscript captions in ink: 'Kosak Woman of Tsherkash', 'Tirgishian Tartar', 'A Kalmak of the lower class.' All are numbered in pencil in lower right corner: 1, 3, 18, 56, 65, 67, 68 (?). The image "Kosak Woman" caption is followed by "Pallas". The other 4 watercolors have no captions and subjects include a Woman with a cape, Man with floor length fur lined coat and hat, Man with long beard, golden helmet and fur lined coat; and a Woman carrying a basket on her back and under her arm.
Four paintings are 8 x 10", other 3 are 7 x 9", painted on thick paper, with two ink border lines, some thin and some thick. The image of the Tirgishian Tartar has four small holes in the corners. All have been removed from an album.
Peter Simon Pallas, [1741 - 1811] German naturalist who advanced a theory of mountain formation and, by the age of 15, had outlined new classifications of certain animal groups.
In 1761 he went to England to study natural-history collections and to make geological observations. He was appointed professor of natural history at the Imperial Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, in 1768. About the same time he joined a scientific expedition to Russia and Siberia. For the next six years he traveled across the length and breadth of the vast empire. He found a wide distribution of mammoth and rhinoceros fossils, including some with their hairy hides preserved, in the Siberian ice. He returned to St. Petersburg in 1774 with a great amount of data and many fossil specimens, but he had ruined his health. He published his major findings from the expedition in three volumes, Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des russischen Reichs (1771–76), later published in English “Journey Through Various Provinces of the Russian Empire”. His chief geological contribution, based largely on his study of the Ural and Altai mountain ranges of Siberia, was the recognition of a temporal sequence of rocks from the center to the flanks of a range. Otherwise very good condition. Item #27231