Karl Bodmer. “Tab. 5.
Mouth of the Fox River (Indiana) [Embouchure du Fox River]”
(London, Coblenz, and Paris: Ackermann & Co., 1839–1843).
Aquatint and line engraving on Japan wove paper, black and white as
issued. Bodmer blind stamp in lower margin. 28 1/2 x 31 1/2"
framed. Very light foxing in lower margin. Overall, excellent
condition (by sight). Handsome presentation in two-toned frame.
Prince Maximillian’s most
important stop on the journey west through the Ohio country was at
the utopian colony of New Harmony, Indiana, which the party reached
in the fall of 1832. During the months spent at the colony, Bodmer
went almost daily to explore along the Fox and Wabash rivers looking
for zoological specimens. According to his journal entry of December
6, Maximillian himself accompanied Bodmer on an excursion by boat to
Fox Island at the mouth of the Fox River. That day, “Mr.
Bodmer made a drawing from an interesting landscape, the estuary of
the Fox River into the Wabash,” he wrote. Noting that its
waters were “clear and dark green, the visible ground at the
bottom completely covered with shells,” he also remarked on
the lushness of the surrounding forest in which “tall, widely
ramified, colossal Plantanus trees were shining snow white in the
densely entangled thicket.”
Bodmer made several watercolors
of the landscape around New Harmony, which later provided the basis
for the present aquatint—scarce in the black-and-white issue
that preserves the tonal power of the artist’s composition.
Ref.: David C. Hunt and Marsha V. Gallagher, Karl Bodmer's America (Omaha: The
Joselyn Art Museum and University of Nebraska Press, 1984), pp.