This website is part of The New York Public Library's Online Exhibition Archive. For current classes, programs, and exhibitions, please visit
Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825
1453 Through the Reign of Ivan the Terrible (1533-1584) The Time of Troubles to the First Romanovs (1598-1682) Peter the Great and His Legacy (1682-1762) The Age of Catherine the Great (1762-1801) The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825)


Explore this Section:

The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825): A Summary of Russian History
Russia Symbol Introduction
Russia Symbol In the Spirit of His Grandmother
Russia Symbol A Law-based State
Russia Symbol The Napoleonic Wars
The Reign of Emperor Alexander I (1801-1825): A Summary of World History

Russia's Globalization:
A Key

Events marked Russia Symbol are specific to Muscovy/Russia's internal development.
Those marked World Symbol are important world historical or cultural events.
Engagement Symbol indicates specific points of sociocultural or military engagement between Muscovy/Russia and foreign powers or individuals.



   Russians Visit a South Pacific “Paradise”

  Russians Visit a South Pacific “Paradise”
   Photographic Services & Permissions
Ludovik Andreevich Choris (1795–1828)
Voyage pittoresque autour du monde, avec des portraits de sauvages d’Amérique, d’Asie, d’Afrique, et des îles du Grand océan [A Picturesque Voyage Around the World, with Portraits of the Savages of America, Asia, Africa, and the Islands of the Pacific Ocean]
Paris: Firmin Didot, 1822
NYPL, Rare Books Division

An artist of German-Russian parentage born in Kharkov (Kharkiv, Ukraine), Ludovik Choris accompanied Otto von Kotzebue (1787–1846, son of the playwright August von Kotzebue) on his first voyage around the world (1815–18). Here he portrays a native chief, called Rarik in Kotzebue’s text, who lived on Romanzoff (Rumiantsev) Island, the Marshall Islands, named for the Russian Chancellor and maecenas Nikolai Rumiantsev (d. 1826). Kotzebue describes Rarik’s childlike enthusiasm and astonishment at the Europeans and their pots and pans. As chief, Rarik wore many ornaments, flowers, and beads, and his tattoos covered the greater part of his body, giving him “the look of a person wearing armor.”