Vig I - Boston Lighthouse

Karl Bodmer

Bodmer’s America


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 Martens
Printed by Bougeard


Prince Maximilian zu Wied, artist Karl Bodmer, and David Driedoppel, Maximilian's personal servant, departed from the Dutch port of Helvoet on an American ship bound for the United States on the morning of May 18, 1832, and arrived off the coast of North America on June 30.

Having sighted Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at a distance of fifteen miles on July 3, the travelers from Europe entered Boston harbour the following morning to the sound of cannons being fired in honour of the national celebration of Independence Day. In his journal, Maximilian wrote that "in the direction of Boston, the snow-white Boston lighthouse was standing on a small rock island .... Mr. Bodmer had already made a drawing of this island, but from a greater distance."

Maximilian's party spent the next several days in and around Boston before journeying to Providence, Rhode Island, enroute to New York City, which they reached on July 9.

... "Lots of people from Boston are on pleasure trips, part of them fishing.... the lighthouse is ahead of us and the flag waves in the wind, Mr. Bodmer had already made a drawing of this island, but from a greater distance."

Text by David Hunt, Director, Stark Museum, Orange, Texas, USA

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Original Print

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