Extremely rare historical original drawing as contemporary to event illustration (probably for news-paper or magazine) of the episode of Russian-Japanese War 1904-1905: Russian II Pasific Scadron under command of Admiral Zinovij Vasiljevitch Rozhestvensky rounds in Baltique (North Sea) the Cape Skaden /Denmark. As it‘s known, the fate of this squadron is very sad, just as the whole war was lost by Russia. This squadron was completely defeated by the Japanese near the island of Tsushima in May 1905. Our picture shows the very beginning of the march on 7-8 October 1904, when the squadron passes Cape Skadin and rushes through Tangier / Morocco, around Africa and Madagascar to Port Arthur in the Japan Sea, which in those time had patched unequal battles again Japanese the I Russian squadron (later, even before the arrival of the II squadron, it was also defeated by the Japanese).
Full history about March of II Scadron to Japan Sea, the Tsusima battle and biography of admiral Rozhesvensky read in Russian and English Wikipedia.
The author of our drawing is famous French marine painter and illustrator Alexandre Jean-Baptiste Brun (1853-Marseille - 1941).
pupil of Alexandre Cabanel, Carolus-Duran and Felix Bracquemond. He is especially known for his many marine paintings and a collection of watercolors on dark wash representing orchids.
He studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, with masters such as Alexandre Cabanel, Carolus-Duran and Felix Bracquemond. He painted with Adolphe Monticelli, Louis Tinayre and Henri Pinta.
A marine painter, he made numerous illustrations for encyclopedias and books published by Sea of Larousse editions.
An accomplished yachtsman, he accompanied Prince Albert 1st of Monaco on some of his oceanographic expeditions. The prince invited him to collaborate in the creation of the frescoes of the Grand Amphitheater of the Oceanographic Institute of Paris, for which he financed the construction.
Alexandre Brun also executed commissions for Baroness Nathaniel de Rothschild, barons Arthur and Edmond de Rothschild, and relatives, such as Louis Libreck, for whom he produced his most famous work: a series of watercolors immortalizing his friend's collection of orchids. A prolific painter, he produced numerous family portraits, landscapes (banks of the Seine, Normandy coasts, Joliette Port, the calanques of Marseille) as well as still lifes.
A member of the Salon des artistes français from 1877, he submitted works almost every year until 1934.
He exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1881 and 1882, and at the Universal Exhibition in 1889, during which he was awarded the Bronze Medal, Marine Section, before deciding to devote himself to travelling various regions of France and Algeria. He suspended his activities again in 1914 to resume them at the end of the war until 1934, when he retired to Malmousque in his villa "L'Ouragan", exhibiting only at the Jouvene Gallery in Marseille.
Literature: art lexicons by Benezit and Thieme/Becker; Russian Wikipedia ( articles about II Pasific scadron; Zusima battle and biography of Z.V.Rozhestvensky).
Inscription: signed lower left, inscribed in French lower right, in English translation: „ original drawing by Brun. Russian scadron in Baltique under Commander Rodjewsky (name is with mystake, correct Rozhestvensky) rounds Cape Skaden“.
Technique: watercoloured drawing with opaque white on paper, fine antique frame.
Measurements: unframed w 17" x h 11 3/4" (43 x 29,7 cm), matted and framed w 23 5/8" x h 18 1/2" (60 x 47 cm).
Condition: very good.