The Cavalry Affair of the Heights of Bulganek — the First Gun (19th September 1854) by William Simpson. From Simpson's The Seat of War in the East, second series.

On John Sloan's site this picture is labelled The Battle of the Alma from William Simpson's The Seat of War in the East, second series. However, Lawrence Crider, North American Agent, Crimean War Research Society, has written to inform readers of The Victorian Web that this painting does not depict the Battle of Alma but "the Affair at the Bulganek River":

George Brackenbury produced two books entitled The Campaign in the Crimea: an historical sketch by George Brackenbury (the late secretary at Kadikoi to the honorary agents of the Crimean Army fund) (London: Paul and Diminic Colnaghi and Company, Pall Mall East, 1855). The first book of the series (series one) was illustrated by forty plates "from drawings taken on the spot by William Simpson." These are the same pictures used in The Seat of the War in the East but, of course, much reduced in size. This plate is inserted between pages 56 and 57 and is entitled "The Cavalry Affair of the Heights of Bulganek---the First Gun" 19th September 1854. Comparing details listed below in the listing of Simpson's work for sale, I would say every picture from each series parallels, and it is the first series which depicts earlier events in the war. Ergo, if Simpson had created a lithograph of the Alma, it should have been in the first series.

John Sloan has kindly shared images from his Xenophongi web site with the Victorian Web. Copyright, of course, remains with him. [MJ.


Victorian Web Visual Arts William Simpson William Simpson's Painting Crimean War

Last modified 8 December 2004