[Mato-Tope]. after, Karl Bodmer.


likely Paris: Manuscript, c.1836-40. Anon., [Paris?], c.1836 -40. Gouache on laid paper, heavily sized both recto and verso, 17” x 12.25”. Single deckle edge, old horizontal centerfold, moderate finger soiling bottom verso (p. 4 if folded), very good to nearly fine overall.
with rich color. Item #100219

Mandan Indian Chief Mato-Tope with headdress, axe and war insignia. Undoubtedly executed in studio with Bodmer’s original watercolor at hand. The most obvious indication of this appears when Bodmer’s original watercolor (or this example) is compared with the aquatint published in the epic atlas volume to Travels in the Interior of North America 1832-1834 where Mato-Tope is depicted with a complete tunic. This example, like Bodmer’s original sketch, shows an incomplete tunic, a feature unknown until after 1945.

In 1836 Bodmer set up a studio in Paris, at Prince Maximilian’s request, where he employed 26 engravers to compile an atlas for Travels. Following publication of Travels in the Interior Bodmer’s sketches were removed to Prince Maximilian’s castle Neu wied on the Rhine and stored there along with the prince’s expedition notes until after World War II when the collection was sold at auction.

A rare survivor and a bold, handsome portrait of the Mandan leader executed by an accomplished artist most likely in Bodmer’s employ in Paris. This example is not a direct copy of the original but a most skillful rendition showing subtle variations. Colors appear slightly oxidized, most notably in the whites which exhibit a minor grayish tint. Bodmer’s original watercolor is held in the Joclyn Art Museum collection and illustrated on page 5 of "Karl Bodmer’s America Revisited" – Lindholm & Wood.

Ref: Joclyn Art Museum – JAM 1986.49.260; Lindholm & Wood - "Karl Bodmer’s America Revisited"

Price: $4,250.00

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