Bears, ballerinas and shaggy Cossacks: why did foreigners of the XIX century portray Russians in this wayBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/bears-ballerinas-and-shaggy-cossacks-why-did-foreigners-of-the-xix-century-portray-russians-in-this-way.html
At a time when there was no Internet, television, and tourist opportunities were limited, people had ideas about other peoples from books or pictures. The caricature in this formation of the image of the "other people" played an important role.
It was based on satirical pictures that Europeans, Americans, and Japanese formed their idea of us, Russians. In the caricatures of that time, the Russian looks like a fierce wild beast. King Kong, who got into a civilized city. Of course, the caricature is saturated with hyperbole, but behind the uncut Cossacks, cannibalistic monarchs and treacherous bears, you can see a Great Country, a great force.
The image of Russia in modern Western caricature has changed a lot, it has become more flat, less charismatic, peripheral. Apparently, we do not inspire Western cartoonists today. And that means something is wrong with us. Without anger and partiality, we consider American and Japanese cartoons dedicated to Russia, the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century. And we are trying very hard to find similarities with us today.