SPLENDID ORIGINAL HAND-COLORED BODMER LANDSCAPE, ONE OF THE FINE “VIGNETTE” IMPRESSIONS, WITH HIS EMBOSSED STAMP
BODMER, Karl. Felsen Genannt die Citadelle (Rock Called The Citadel). [Coblenz: J. Hoscher; London: Ackermann; Paris: Arthus Bertrand (Imprimé de Bougeard)], . Plate impression measures 12-1/2 by 9 inches; matted, entire piece measures 15 by 12-1/2 inches. $1200.
Original hand-colored aquatint Plate XVIII, first state, one of the 33 “vignettes” from Karl Bodmer’s magnificent picture-atlas, produced for Maximilian Wied-Neuwied’s Travels in the Interior of North America (1839-1843).
Maximilian’s monumental work was originally published in German (1839-41); a French translation followed in 1840-43 and an English translation in 1843. A picture-atlas of eighty-one aquatint plates (48 folios and 33 “vignettes”) after paintings by Karl Bodmer was issued in Paris, and accompanied all three of these editions. The picture volume is now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and memorable visual surveys of the western territories ever produced. The images provide an authentic glimpse into 19th-century America by one of the most eminent European artists. Unlike some other painters of the American West, Bodmer tried not to romanticize his subjects, but show them as they really were. “With the name of the artist—‘C. Bodmer, Direct.— stamped in blind on each of the plates, this work is the most beautiful, faithful and vivid ever produced depicting western plains and Indians” (Howes). This superb hand-colored aquatint landscape of Citadel Rock, at the confluence of the Judith and Missouri rivers, was described by Maximilian in his journal: “Here, on both sides of the river, the most strange forms are seen, and you may fancy that you see, colonnades, small round pillars with large globes or a flat slab at the top, little towers, pulpits, organs with their pipes, old ruins, fortresses, castles, churches with pointed towers… Almost every mountain bearing on its summit some similar structure.” The print is vignette number XVIII, without imprint statements, captions in German and French, and with the embossed stamp. First state, undated and without the English caption. Ruud, 282. See Howes M443a. Wagner-Camp 76. Streeter III:1809.
Three tiny specs of abrasion in water near bottom left corner, closed tear to top margin slightly affecting image. A very desirable and rare Bodmer, in extremely good condition.