Vig IV - Forest Scene on the Tobihanna, Allegheny Mountains

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 Lucas Weber: two versions of this print with slight variation in specific
Printed by Bougeard


On August 23, Prince Maximilian and Karl Bodmer, leaving Driedoppel in Bethlehem to oversee the packing of Maximilian's collection of specimens for shipment abroad, took a carriage to Mauch Chunk, an important coal-mining center west of Bethlehem, on the stage line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Stopping briefly at a public house near the Delaware Watergap, they arrived at the settlement of Dutotsburgh that evening, and stayed the night at a local tavern. They spent the next day investigating reported Delaware Indian burial sites in that vicinity and examining local collections of artifacts, before continuing their journey to Mauch Chunk on the 25th.

They reached the banks of Tobihanna Creek on the afternoon of August 27. Bodmer made several sketches of the scenery here, and of the covered bridge crossing the Tobihanna. Maximilian observed in his journal entry for the day, that Bodmer waded several times back and
forth across the creek, searching for a vantage point from which to obtain the best view of his subject, while Maximilian collected native bird and plant specimens.

The Delaware, or Leni Lenapi, also called Loup by the French, long since had removed themselves from western Pennsylvania, and Maximilian lamented the fact that he could discover little evidence of the original, native inhabitants of North America in the more settled regions of the eastern United States.

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

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Original Print

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