View of the Selenga River in Siberia by Andrei Martynov

View of the Selenga River in Siberia by Andrei Martynov

In 1805-1806 Martynov was in the retinue of the embassy of Count Golovkin in China. Huge expanses of Russia appeared before the travelers up to the most distant suburbs, from Moscow to Kyakhta. Only an artist could acquaint his compatriots with these, almost unknown lands, their harsh beauty, their vegetation and animal world; appearance, dwellings and even in a sense, the manners of their inhabitants.

Martynov published his sketches in 1819 in the form of two albums of engravings. In addition, he made a number of watercolor and painting works, among which the “View of the Selenga River in Siberia”

stands out. “Nothing can be more charming and majestic than the banks of the river Selenga…

Some of these enormous works of nature are so surprisingly arranged that it is difficult to assure that the hand of art does not participate in their structure. On the contrary, the shores of the coast are covered with beautiful groves, as if with a skilful hand purposely planted, and meadows with herds of camels, horses, cattle and sheep, “wrote Martynov.

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