Katon-Karagay, 1876

Picturing the the West Siberian Journey

In 1876, the three German travellers were accompanied by the Russian governor of Semipalatinsk province and his wife. Lidia Konstantinovna Poltoratskaya, a passionate amateur photographer, took her plate camera with her on the journey through the Altai. The expedition leader Otto Finsch used her photographs as models for drawings. Back in Germany, he then gave them to the painter Moritz Hoffmann, who turned them into wood engravings to illustrate the concluding travelogue.

Cover: Photography by L.K. Poltoratskaya; here: Wood engraving by M. Hoffmann after a drawing by Otto Finsch

The example shows the Cossack settlement of Altaiskaja-Staniza in the Buchtarma Valley. Today the place is called Katon-Karagay and we will see what Volker Kreidler finds there today with his camera.