“An Imperial Stride”: Two Hundred and Thirty Years of Transforming a Metaphor

(On the Visual History of Russia)

In: Experiment
Andrey Rossomakhin Ph.D. Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. Petersburg State University

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Vasily Uspensky Research Fellow, Department of Engravings, the State Hermitage St. Petersburg

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This research traces the evolution and transformation of the metaphor of the “Imperial Step,” which signifies the expansionist ambitions of Russia’s Imperial, Soviet and Post-Soviet rulers from Catherine the Great to Vladimir Putin as expressed in caricatures and satirical cartoons appearing predominantly in Britain, France, and Germany. Following in chronological order, each section is devoted to the discussion of a pertinent example of the Imperial Step beginning with late 18th century British caricature satirizing Catherine the Great in the context of her “Greek Project” and concluding with a contemporary caricature with Putin as the principal protagonist.

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