The Cat of Kazan
One of the most famous Russian Lubki prints, this image is sometimes attributed to the artist Vasili Loren. The subject is ostensibly one of Russia’s leaders — Peter the Great, who, after a trip to Louis XIV’s clean-shaven court, issued an edict forcing Russians either to cut off their beards or pay an annual tax. The caption above the creature’s head reads: “The Cat of Kazan, in the manner of Astrakhan, by reason of Siberia, lives gloriously, manages agreeably, and farts sweetly.” A so-called Lubok print from the collection of Dmitriĭ Aleksandrovich Rovinskiĭ (1824-1895). (Source: New York Public Library).