After the great success of stereoviews at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London, photographers quickly started travelling around the globe in search of new images.
In 1858 the first such images of the Russia Empire appeared on sale in Paris and soon in many other capitals of the world. Many of the best photographers and publishers of the time were involved in taking and distributing those pictures. In France Claude-Marie Ferrier, Charles Soulier, Claude-Henri-Jules Couppier, Alexis Gaudin and his brother Charles Gaudin, Alexandre Bertrand, Vincent Craveri, Pierre-Henri-Amand Lefort, Adolphe Block, Jean-Francois Lachenal, Claude-Louis Favre were all involved. In the UK the photos were distributed by Negretti & Zambra, A. Marion & Co, In the US the images were bought by the best known photographic shops such as: D. Appleton & Co. and the New York Stereoscopic Company, E. & H. T. Anthony & Co., Benerman & Wilson, Charles Farrar, the Langenheim brothers, etc.
These were some of the first photographic views taken of the Russia Empire and remained the main source of visual information about the country until the end of the XIX century.
The book explores the various series of stereoviews made by the French photographers during the reign of Czar Alexander II, in the third quarter of the XIX century.
The book also contains a full catalogue of almost 500 views.