Anca Elisabeta TATAY
Academia Română, Institutul de Istorie „George Bariţiu” din Cluj-Napoca Romanian Academy, „George Bariţiu” Institute of History of Cluj-Napoca
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3-4 / 2011
Images from the Napoleonic Epoch Existing in the Old Romanian Books Printed in Buda (1814-1815)
Napoleon’s wars ended in a disastrous retreat of his army from Russia, followed by his downfall which greatly impressed his contemporaries, exciting their interest both for the French and for the Russian people. For this reason the stories concerning the famed emperor’s deeds or the personalities contemporaneous with him used to spread easily. In the second decade of the 19th century, at the University Typography of Buda, there appeared several books in Romanian, edifying in this respect, of which some contain an illustration each engraved in metal. The popularity of these works within the Romanian territory is also ensured by the fact that at the time there was no newspaper or magazine to keep the public well-informed on the worldly news.
The four engravings, with reference to the Napoleonic age, from the Romanian books printed in Buda in the years 1814-1815 represent incontestable epoch documents which, at that time, must have raised a great curiosity among the readers eager to know the course of events of their time, which as it is well-known, troubled the whole Europe. The two authors who sign, Adam Sandor Ehrenreich and Gottfried Prixner, as well as the others who are anonymous persons demonstrate through these images that they endeavoured, being more or less endowed with talent, to popularize the important personalities and developments of their age and in this respect they attentively gathered documentary evidence showing perseverance and passion in their work. The large number of books printed in Buda enabled these engravings with historical themes to spread over the whole territory inhabited by the Romanians and within various strata of society.
Keywords: the University Typography from Buda, old Romanian book, engraving, Napolonean epoch, Russia
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- Oprescu, Gh., The Romanian Graphic Arts in the 19th Century, vol. I, Bucureşti, Fundaţia Regală Pentru Literatură şi Artă, 1942.
- Thieme, Ulrich, Becker, Felix, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Visual Artists from the Ancient Time up to the Present, vol. I-XXXVII, Leipzig, 1907-1950.
- Tatay, Anca Elisabeta, Tradition and Innovation in the Tehnique and art of Illustrating the Romanian Books Printed in Buda, 1780-1830, Alba Iulia, Editura Altip, 2010.
- Alexandru Duţu, Wisdom Books in the Romanian Culture (cap. 2. France’s Image during the Napolonean Campaigns), Bucureşti, Editura Academiei, 1972.