The world-famous collection of popular prints housed in the National Library of Russia comprises some 12,000 items. Most often termed lubki, these prints appeared in Russia late in the seventeenth century and were widely used for the decoration of homes and inns. The majority of them are now lost due to the ephemeral nature of paper. Some prints of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries survived only within collections, the earliest of which was assembled by Jacob von Stahlin. In 1766 by the Saviour Gate of the Kremlin in Moscow he bought a job lot of prints with religious and secular subjects produced from wooden blocks and for the most part hand-coloured.

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