Turkey and the Russian Bear
“The Northern Bear, the most disagreeable of all the known bears.”
The bellicose Russian Bear as an autocrat with all of its subjects kneeling at its feet.
The Russian Bear in both images is shown threatening Turkey during the dispute over the guardianship of the Holy Places. Note the British Lion lounging in the background of the Initial, “T.”
July 7, 1853
This print plays on an old folktale where a bear threatens to use his great strength against a hive of bees if they do not give him free honey. The bees refuse, and when the bear sticks his tongue in the hive to take the honey by force, the bees attack him, and their combined stings make the bear run away. Here, the Turks play the role of the bees—with their mosques resembling beehives—in beating back the advances of the Russian army on Turkish territory.
July 27, 1854
“The Giant and the Dwarf”
The Allied Army of France and Great Britain (the Giant) urges Turkey (The Dwarf) to continue fighting, given its success against the Russian Army in the Danubian Principalities.