Original Antique (1841) Aquatint Engraving Titled “Winter Village of the Minatarres” After a Watercolor Painting by Swiss Artist Carl (Karl) Bodmer & Engraved by Narcisse Desmadryl from Prince Wied-Neuwied’s “Travels in the Interior of North America" - image 1 of 16


Please Note: This aquatint engraving is Tableau #26 from Maximilian Prince of Wied- Neuwied's two-volume publication titled “Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834”; French version: “Voyage dans l'interieur de L'Amérique du Nord exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834”; German version: “Reise in das innere Nord-America in den Jaren 1832 bis 1834” (please scroll down to read a more comprehensive interpretation of this rare publication).

Also, Please Note: This mid 19th century aquatint engraving by Carl (Karl) Bodmer was more recently professionally matted and framed by Poulsen Galleries of Pasadena, California. To this end, the gallery label for Poulsen Galleries is still attached to the frame’s backside paper.

Dimensions: The image size of this aquatint engraving measures approximately ten inches (10”) in height by twelve and three quarters inches (12 3/4”) in width. The sheet (paper) size that can be viewed within the matte board measures approximately thirteen and three quarters inches (13 3/4”) in height by sixteen and three quarters inches (16 3/4”) in width but is most likely larger as it extends further underneath the matting. The overall dimensions of the burl wood frame are twenty two inches (22”) in height by twenty five inches (25”) in width.

Identifying Markings: This aquatint engraving is marked with the following inscriptions:


Upper right: Tab. 26

Lower Left: Carl Bodmer pinx. ad nat. \ WINTERDORF DER MÖNNITARRIS / Coblenz bei J. Hölscher

Lower Center: Imp. de Bougeard \ WINTER VILLAGE OF THE MINATARRES \ London, published by Ackermann & Co. 90, Strand. May 1th 1841.

Lower Right: Desmadryl sculp. / VILLAGE D'HIVER DES MEUNITARRIS / Paris, Arthus Bertrand, éditeur

Condition: This aquatint engraving looks to be in excellent and clean “antique” condition (but keep reading). The black and white tonalities of the aquatint engraving are still very strong! However, and Please Note: This aquatint engraving has not been removed from its frame and matting for a thorough review. The matte board around the aquatint engraving also looks to be in excellent and clean condition but does have a faint lemon yellow coloration, which also appears to bleed over to the outside border of the aquatint engraving (the sheet’s outside border next to the matte board).

And the burl wood frame is generally in excellent and clean condition with a few small markings and minor scuffs. The frame’s backside paper backing is fully intact but does have some markings and a couple of punctures.

Domestic buyer pays calculated shipping for secure packing and USPS priority within the United States. I no longer ship internationally due to the high volume of scams taking place. Sorry.

(the following information has been translated from German to English and is courtesy the website for Wikipedia)

Reise in das innere Nord-America in den Jaren 1832 bis 1834
Travel to interior North America in the years 1832 to 1834

Voyage in the interior of North America in the years 1832 to 1834 (English version: Maximilian Prince of Wied's Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834, French version: Voyage dans l'interieur de L'Amérique du Nord exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834) is a multi-volume work by the German ethnologist and naturalist Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, published successively in three languages, German, English and French. The work describes the results of Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied's ethnological journey through North America in the years 1832 to 1834 and was decorated with illustrations by the Swiss painter Karl Bodmer. The work "Journey to the Interior of North America 1832 to 1834" became an important documentation of the American Indian population.

Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied's journey to North America between 1832 and 1834

Between 1837 and 1842 Jakob Hölscher published the German-language book project Reise in das Innen Nord-America in Koblenz in the years 1832 to 1834as a two-volume work with a picture atlas in individual deliveries. The travel descriptions comprise a total of 1340 text pages into which 52 small woodcuts have been inserted. The text by Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied contains, in the order of his diary entries, not only travel descriptions and reports on the Indian peoples, but also notes on the flora and fauna of North America and a description of the industrialized eastern states of the USA. The separate two-volume illustrated atlas consists of 81 illustrations based on Karl Bodmer's drawings and a map; it was offered in five different versions, containing different paper grades and either uncolored black and white images or colored color images. Because of these elaborate illustrations, the work is considered a milestone in the history of the printing in the 19th Century.

Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied's printed text was around 300,000 words, while the manuscript contained around 500,000 words. The manuscript was thus severely abridged before publication, for example, the description of drinking bouts, the depiction of sexual habits of the Indian tribes visited, and a few unflattering remarks about the white traders on the Missouri. A typical example of Wied's descriptions can be found in Chapter 21 in Volume 2; there the author describes the original river landscape of the Missouri and its wildlife in 1833. This river trip in untouched nature is presented as a unique experience.

From the trip, Karl Bodmer brought more than 400 sketches and watercolors of Indians, plants, animals and landscapes back to Germany. Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied selected from the numerous watercolors those that he wanted to include in his book and asked Karl Bodmer to personally oversee the production of the engravings needed for the print based on these images. Bodmer therefore oversaw 20 renowned engravers in Paris, Zurich and London who produced 63 steel and 18 copper plates that accurately reproduced his watercolors. The engravers used pantographs to precisely enlarge the templates and their proportions. Of the 81 panels, 48 were used as large-format panels (Tableau called) and 33 smaller ones produced as vignettes. After printing, Bodmer also instructed the artists, who were to color the plates and vignettes according to his specifications. He therefore constantly traveled back and forth between the cities of Paris, Zurich and London to ensure the exact execution of the prints and their colored versions.

On November 10, 1837, the first delivery of the German edition was offered in five different versions. The prices for each of the 20 deliveries ranged from 3 thalers, 5 silver groschen and 10 thalers, depending on the type of paper and the number of colored engravings. This resulted in prices for the entire German work of between 60 and 200 thalers. For comparison: A skilled worker in Koblenz earned 200 thalers a year.

The list of subscribers included 215 people and institutions who ordered a total of 277 copies, 160 of which were in the simplest version without coloring. It turned out that it was very difficult to find other buyers for the work. Tensions arose between Karl Bodmer and Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, since Bodmer had contractually agreed to be responsible for sales in France and England.

The French first edition appeared in 1840-1843, the English first edition followed in 1843-1844. The economic depression of 1846 and the revolution of 1848 dampened demand everywhere and a financial debacle loomed. In 1847 Karl Bodmer renounced all his rights to the original records and transferred responsibility for marketing to Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied and his family. However, it was not until 1856 that he handed the plates over to the Prussian Embassy in Paris, where they were stored until 1873 because of the Franco-Prussian War.

Collection at the Joslyn Art Museum

Bodmer's works and printing plates, which he had to leave to Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, were kept in Neuwied Castle and fell into oblivion. Stanley Pargellis of the Newberry Library and the German scientist Joseph Röder ensured their rediscovery. A traveling exhibition brought 118 watercolors to America in 1953-1955 and made the watercolors known there.

In 1959, the New York art dealer M. Knoedler & Company acquired all of the archival materials stored in Neuwied Castle, as well as Karl Bodmer's artwork and printing plates, from Friedrich Wilhelm Fürst zu Wied and exhibited them at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha (Nebraska). The following year, the Omaha-based Northern Gas Company purchased the collection for the Inner North Foundation and gave it to the Joslyn Art Museum, first on loan and then as a gift in 1986.

Since then, the museum inventory has included 386 drawings and watercolors by Karl Bodmer, Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied's diaries and travel correspondence, as well as other documents such as newspaper clippings, invoices, invitations and maps. The diaries of Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied have been published by the museum in three volumes since 2008 in English translation in the scientifically edited work The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied.

In 1989, the Joslyn Art Museum issued a hand-colored new edition, limited to 125 copies, of the Photographic Atlas of Voyages to Interior North America 1832-1834, made using the original printing plates. The museum, together with the University of Nebraska Press, has published drawings and watercolors from the museum's holdings in various book publications. In 1984 the book Karl Bodmer's America was published with 359 reproductions of drawings and watercolors that Karl Bodmer had made during his trip to America. According to the judgment of Hans Peter Treichlerthe original watercolors are artistically superior to the later engraved illustrations in their spontaneity, but also in their coloring and linework.

Karl Bodmer's illustrations of North America come in different color schemes because they are hand colored. Today they can be found not only in the museums mentioned, but also in The Whitney Gallery of Western Art in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in the city of Cody (Wyoming, USA) and in several other predominantly American museums. Many of his works are offered in the art trade.

(the following information is courtesy the website for Arader Galleries)

Karl Bodmer (1809-1893)
Travels in the Interior of North America
Aquatint engravings

Karl Bodmer was a little-known Swiss painter when he was chosen by Prince Maximilian of Prussia to accompany his voyage to America, in order to document in pictorial terms the expedition. With the rest of Maximilian’s company, the two traveled among the Plains Indians from 1832 to 1834, a time when the Plains and the Rockies were still virtually unknown. They arrived in the West before acculturation had begun to change the lives of the Indians, and Bodmer, who was a protegé of the great naturalist von Humboldt, brought a trained ethnologist’s eye to the task. The Bodmer/Maximilian collaboration produced a record of their expedition that is incontestably the finest early graphic study of the Plains tribes.

Maximilian and Bodmer journeyed from St. Louis up the Missouri River on the American Fur Company steamboat “Yellowstone,” stopping at a series of forts built by the Fur Company and meeting their first Indians at Bellevue. The travelers continued on another steamboat, “Assiniboin,” to Fort Union, where they met the Crees and Assiniboins. The expedition spent its first winter at Fort Clark, where the Mandans in particular excited Bodmer’s attention, although he was also to draw the Minatarri and Crow peoples. The explorers continued by keelboat to Fort Mackenzie, which proved to be the westernmost point of their journey. After living among and studying the Blackfeet for several weeks, Maximilian decided that it was too dangerous to continue, so the travelers returned southward, reaching St. Louis in May 1834.

After the conclusion of the journey, Bodmer spent four years in Paris supervising the production of the aquatints made from his drawings. These prints rank with the finest Western art in any medium, and they are the most complete record of the Plains Indians before the epidemics of the mid-19th century had decimated their numbers, and before the white man’s expansion had taken their lands. In contrast to other artist-explorers of the 19th century, such as George Catlin, Bodmer was well-trained in the classic European tradition. The work that he did in America is considered to be the high point of a distinguished career. Perhaps more significant, the plates made from Bodmer's sketches were the first truly accurate images of the Plains Indians to reach the general public. Because the 1837 smallpox epidemic killed more than half the Blackfeet and almost all the Mandans, Bodmer’s visually striking work, together with prince Maximilian’s detailed studies of these tribes, form the primary accounts of what became virtually lost cultures. These spectacular and atmospheric images are important and beautiful records of the landscape of the American West as it appeared when Bodmer saw it, just before westward expansion took hold and began the indelible transformation of the frontier.

(the following information is courtesy the website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Karl Bodmer: North American Portraits
Exhibition Overview

Swiss-born Karl Bodmer (1809–1893) was one of the first and most accomplished European artists to document the landscape of the North American interior and its Indigenous peoples. He was hired by the German explorer and naturalist Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied, to accompany an expedition to the northwestern reaches of the Missouri River in 1833–34. Together they traveled from Saint Louis through the tribal lands of the Omaha, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Blackfoot, among many Plains nations where Bodmer executed watercolor portraits in situ. A meticulous draftsman, he produced portraits that are notable for their sensitivity of depiction and subtle, refined brushwork. Bodmer’s precise observation of his sitters—in facial likeness, body decoration, and regalia—conveys eyewitness testimony to the lives of specific individuals and the complexity of cultural encounters. The exhibition features thirty-five portraits, along with six landscape and genre scenes, and several related aquatints, all from the comprehensive Bodmer holdings of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.

Black, Brown, White
American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture, Swiss Art
Aquatint, Engraving
Americana, Historical, Western
Europe • European
Mid 19th Century

Design References

Original Antique (1841) Aquatint Engraving Titled “Winter Village of the Minatarres” After a Watercolor Painting by Swiss Artist Carl (Karl) Bodmer & Engraved by Narcisse Desmadryl from Prince Wied-Neuwied’s “Travels in the Interior of North America"

$675 SALE
$900  25% Off 
You save $225

    Our Specialty is the Sea Stinger of Modern Design -- Something Refined, Sophisticated, yet Edgy!
    Art and Design of the 19th and 20th centuries referencing Proto-Modernist, Modernist, and Post-Modernist ideals!


    since 2021