Pulled from the original steel and copper plates, engraved in Paris between 1836 and 1843 under Karl Bodmer's direction, after the artist's own watercolours drawn from nature during the journey.
The engravings are hand-printed in colours, à la poupée, with extensive hand-colouring and some application of gum arabic, in the nineteenth-century manner.
Engraved by Salathe and/or Lucas Weber
Printed by Bougeard
Presented in no apparent order in this print are numerous views which Bodmer made of the landscape along the upper Missouri enroute from Fort Union to Fort McKenzie in July and early August, 1833.
Reproducing studies of the river made on July 8 above Fort Union are the images numbered as 12 and 17, at middle left and right, based on watercolors found on the same sheet in the Joslyn collection. Another study made on July 9 above the mouth of Martha's River is featured as view number 13.
View 15 describes an area of the Missouri near Slick Lodge Creek above the Milk River, a few miles below the mouth of the Musselshell, which Bodmer painted on July 24. This part of the original course of the Missouri now is inundated by the waters of the Fort Peck Reservoir.
Dated July 25 are studies reproduced in views 11, 16, and 18, the originals of the latter two appearing on the same sheet at Joslyn, and again depicting the region below the mouth of the Musselshell River characterized by unusual rock formations which reminded Maximilian of old
mountain castles on the Rhine River in his native Germany.
View 10, at upper left, is based on a pencil sketch at Joslyn dated August 6 describing a formation "like a large military barracks," according to a notation on the reverse, in an area of the river below Fort McKenzie known as the "Stone Walls."
The remaining views reproduced in the lower half of this print depicts various rock formations observed on August 5 and 6 in this same area.
For other views of the upper Missouri made during this period, see also Tableaux 29, 41 and 44.
Text by David Hunt, Director, Stark Museum, Orange, Texas, USA