Lithographic views of Montana, after John Mix Stanley. From I.I. Stevens' General Survey Report. Circa 1850.
Karl Bodmer, (1809-1893), is considered by many to be the greatest 19th-century artist to have produced prints of the American west. Bodmer and his patron, Prince Maximilian of Wied, came to America from Germany in 1832. With Bodmer in charge of the pictorial documentary, Prince Maximilian, an experienced and respected traveler and naturalist, set out to put together as complete a study as possible of the western territories of the United States. The result was the publication of Maximilian's journals in successive German, French, and English editions between 1839 and 1843, and with it, a picture atlas of eighty-one aquatint plates after paintings by Bodmer. This picture volume is now regarded as one of the most comprehensive and memorable visual surveys of the western territories ever made. The prints provide a rare and privileged glimpse into 19th-century America by one of the now most coveted artists of the period.
After Rudolf Cronau. "Die grossen Fälle des Missouri. Montana." [The Great Falls of the Missouri (Montana)] From Von Wunderland zu Wunderland. Landschafts und Lebensbilder aus den Staaten und Territorien der Union. Leipzig: T.O. Weigel, 1886-87. Washington copyright 1885 by Dr. O.V. Deuster. 7 x 11. Collotype by Rommler & Jonas, Dresden. Print mounted onto decorative title board as issued.
From a very unusual and rare set of prints of the United States printed in Germany. The series consisted of fifty views extending from New York to San Francisco, with the majority of the prints depicting the natural wonders of the American West. Europeans, especially Germans, were fascinated with the American West due to the differences in culture and physical topography, not to mention their significant financial investments in land. Also, the western regions of the United States were becoming more accessible and many Europeans were curious about the tales of the American frontier. There is little information available on the artist of this series, Rudolf Cronau (1855-1939). Born in Germany, he is known to have traveled to the United States and North Africa. Cronau dedicated this series to Carl Schurz, who can be considered a "Renaissance Man." Schurz was a lawyer, a speechwriter for Lincoln, a newspaper publisher, and a general in the Civil War, a Senator, and a Cabinet member. One can assume that Crone and Scherzo were friends and that Scherzo may possibly have been a guiding principal behind this series. Overall, this is a very ambitious and rare set of views of the United States in the latter half of the nineteenth century. $400
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