William Simpson. “Balaklava Looking Towards the Sea.” From The Seat of War in the East.
London: Paul & Dominic Colnaghi & Co., June 1855. 9 ¾ x 13 ¾ (image). Lithograph by Day and Son. Excellent original hand color. Some old spots. Else, very good condition.
A beautifully rendered images from a fascinating series of views of the Crimean War, drawn on the spot by William Simpson, who accompanied the British Expedition. As another arena of battle for their darling armed forces, the British public followed the events of the Crimean War with keen interest. Florence Nightingale and ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ both added to the public's fascination with what was in reality a very messy and dirty conflict. In that day of no radio, film or television, the world learned of the events on foreign battlefields primarily through printed accounts and printed views. For this reason, artists accompanied military expeditions in order to record for the public back home the doings of their armies; Simpson was one such artist. His views of the Crimean War were in effect the official views of the war, lithographed and published by the leading London firms, both with Royal commissions, and the work was dedicated with permission to Queen Victoria. These, then, are the views of the Crimean War that shaped the British public's understanding of that war, views drawn with an immediacy and accuracy rarely seen in drawings in our age of electronic news coverage. Not only are these prints visually attractive, but they are also historically of considerable significance.