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Grebnitskii trained at the Forestry Institute in St. Petersburg. In 1900 he published an edition of Andrei Bolotov's classic "Illustration and description of all sorts of apples" and this work led into the production of the Atlas.
Why He Matters
Grebnitskii was a leading botanist and horticulturalist. The Atlas of Fruits was his magnum opus.
Pomology - the science of growing fruit - was all the rage in the nineteenth century.
Herbal dictionaries (like the one pictured at right, by the incomparable Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau), botanical collections, and pomological publications supported the work of horticulturalists across North American and Europe. Agricultural journals addressed the topic. Societies formed. Local knowledge flowed through an increasingly robust global network of correspondents.
In Russia, the apex of this activity arrived in the form of the Atlas of Fruits, edited by Adam Stanislavovich Grebnitskii on behalf of the Imperial Russian Society of Fruit Cultivators. The society was established in 1857; Grebnitskii, who would become a leading botanist and horticulturalist, was born the same year. In 1900 he published an edition of Andrei Bolotov's classic "Illustration and description of all sorts of apples" and this work led into the production of the Atlas.
The Atlas - think of it as a pomological encyclopedia - focuses on fruits grown for market (primarily apples and pears). It extends across 675 pages organized into four sections. It contains an index of fruits and an index of the individuals who contributed articles and commentaries.
This gallery contains the 32 entries associated explicitly with Crimea.
In some cases, Crimea is mentioned in the opening paragraph as a primary cultivation site. In other cases it is mentioned in the commentaries submitted by society members throughout the empire. Correspondents from Simferopol, Odessa, and Moscow (where the biggest fruit markets were located) tend to be the best sources of information regarding Crimean fruits.
The entries contain detailed descriptions of the features of each fruit (size, shape, flavor, details about skin, flesh, and pit) as well as information about the trees that bear them. The notes attached to each illustration in this project focus mainly on taste and market presence.
Best of all? Keep an eye out for whether a particular fruit is "table-worthy" (sweet and eye-catching) or... well... best suited for candy or jam production. The commercial canning industry was taking off, doing its best to keep up with the sweet-tooths in Moscow and St. Petersburg!
Wait, who invented pomology?
Option 1: Scroll through a timeline of fruit cultivation in Crimea
The Atlas contains notes on when varieties were identified or introduced. The dates are often approximate, and we have adapted them as well as possible to give a rough sense of when fruits were identified as market-worthy. Remember, Crimea was (and is) full of local varieties that were less suitable for large-scale production - they are not represented in the Atlas (or on the timeline).
Click on an image to learn more. Close the image to return to this page.
12022-07-12T13:29:22-04:00Atlas of Fruits8source sketchplain2022-07-12T13:54:57-04:001906The Atlas of Fruits: 100 chromolithographic tables illustrating 109 of the best or most widely distributed commercial varieties of apple, pear, and stone fruit in Russia
[Атлас плодов: сто хромалитографированныж таблиц сизображением 109 лучщих или наибольее распространенныхв России промышленных сортов яблок, груш и косточковых...]
Published in St. Petersburg by the Imperial Russian Society of Fruit Cultivators, 1906
Edited by A. S. Grebnitskii
This page references:
12022-07-12T12:04:30-04:00A. S. Grebnitskii1photographplain2022-07-12T12:04:30-04:00Botanical Salon "Robinson" at Peterhof