The Crimean peninsula lies on the north coast of the Black Sea. It was under Turkish rule for 300 years before going to Russia under Catherine the Great in 1783. Today, the Crimea is a region of Ukraine.
It is the Crimea that had increasingly attracted aristocratic visitors in the years since being incorporated into the Empire. And it has been a traditional subject for not only painters, but also writers and poets moved to call it the "enchanted periphery" of the Russian Empire.