The Printed Graphics Department of the National Library of Russia conserves hundreds of postcards with images of St. Petersburg: they represent masterpieces of architecture famous all over the world, celebrated urban ensembles, and everyday life of the big city.

Cityscapes became pet subjects of postcard images as soon as first picture postcards were published. The first postcards with photographs of St. Petersburg cityscapes appeared in shops in 1895.

St. Petersburg. Late 1890s.

N. Karazin. St. Petersburg. 1898. During the subsequent twenty years various publishers printed thousands of postcards with views of St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire which was entering the third century of its existence. Souvenir de St. Petersbourg. 1897.

In the late 1890s colour postcards with views of the majestic city on the banks of the River Neva were published by the major foreign publishers which were active on the Russian market as well. Russian publishers also grabbed the opportunity to exploit the beauties of St. Petersburg, and, as early as in 1898, the postcards published by such publishers as R. Luterman and O. Kirchner circulated in Russian mail. These postcards were not inferior to the postcards published abroad. The popular artist N. Karazin was commissioned to design the pictures for the postcards published by O. Kirchner. On such early postcards the picture consisting of several separate images and the space for the text were still combined on the same side of the postcard. St. Petersburg. 1898.


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