About the work
This view of part of the Kremlin and its surrounding walls in Moscow was included as an illustration in the publication ‘A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer’ (published 1834-37), written by the Dublin born writer and Church of England clergyman Reverend George Newenham Wright (1794/5-1877). ‘A New and Comprehensive Gazetteer’ is illustrated with maps and views of cities ‘engraved from the latest observations and drawings of modern travellers’. The text opposite this illustration states:
‘The Kremlin stands on a height, and commands a fine prospect over nearly the whole city. Here is the ancient palace of the czars, which escaped the memorable conflagration in 1812, when the French invaded Russia. It was much damaged by the mines sprung by the French, but has since been repaired and enlarged...’
The city of Moscow itself is described in the book as being five miles long and four miles wide, with a circumference of 20 miles and a population of 20,000.
This image is based on an earlier print (see GAC 18241) by an unknown artist, which was published by Robert Bowyer as an illustration to ‘An Illustrated Record of Important Events in the Annals of Europe, during the years 1812, 1813, 1814 & 1815’.
About the artist
Samuel Davenport was born in Bedford, the son of a land surveyor and architect. He moved to London with his family as a child and was apprenticed to Charles Turner Warren from about 1797. In 1819 he married Sarah Castle, with whom he had a son, Samuel Thomas. He produced book illustrations after works by contemporary artists, including several outline portraits, and was one of the first engravers to use steel plates rather than copper. He illustrated Rev. G. N. Wright's ‘New and Comprehensive Gazetteer’ (1834–38), was the author of a pamphlet titled ‘Engraving’ (1870s) and is thought to have written an article on book illustration for the ‘Journal of the Society of Arts’ (1865). He died aged 85, leaving a widow - his second wife Frances.