All of them depict Jewish life in Galicia, separated from adjacent territories by geography, but also by tradition and history. In this period (the latter half of the 19th century), it was also distinct for its political dependence on Franz Joseph. Under his reign everything was different. Even the local Jews, who were plentiful and everywhere. On our prints their presence was recorded in Buczacz and Brody, in the Hutsul Land and in Krakow (heavily represented), in Lviv and the environs (especially Mikołajów), in Podole Galicyjskie and Ruthenia, in Stanisławowów, Stryj, the Tatra region, and in Żółkiew. And elsewhere.
Their portraits, houses, synagogues, marketplaces, inns, professions, prayers, carriages, and schools were portrayed by over forty different top-shelf illustrators – mostly Poles. Some, however, were recently Polonized, as we can see from their surnames – Brandt, Kotsis, Pilatti, Szerner, Tegazzo, or Zamarajew. Or from their mothers’ maiden names, e.g. Joanna Karolina Rossberg. There are also vrai Frenchmen and echt Austrians, a true Cracovian (this was a nationality at the time), Picard, and a true Danzigman, Stryowski. Among them was only one Jew: Maurycy Gottlieb. He is buried in the Jewish cemetery in Krakow (on Miodowa street). A student of the creator of four prints in this series was Jan Matejko, who, in turn, was the master and teacher of some of our other artists: Michał Pociecha, Stanisław Grocholski, Kasper Żelechowski, and Aleksander Gryglewski.