Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tissandier's America


There's something that holds the attention about French illustrator Albert Tissandier's decidedly unpretentious recording of his intermittent sojourn in America between 1886 and 1893. And that's in stark constrast to the 8 page (!) introduction accorded the Tissandier collection at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts website - but maybe I was hoping for a bit more detail about the artwork and a little less romanticizing of the great American frontier..

"The pictorial vocabulary that described European monuments and natural formations proved surprisingly inadequate when attempting to represent the span of the Brooklyn Bridge or the scale of the Rocky Mountains on paper or canvas. The savage splendor of the mountains and deserts of the western states could not be described in European terms, either literary or visual."

I only ventured into the first of two volumes at the site. Many of his drawings and etchings were published in La Nature and Le Monde in France. I wouldn't buy them all but there are certainly enough of great quality to warrant a scan through. [click on the pictures above for larger versions]

2 comments :

orangeguru said...

These are great illustrations - too bad I can't see them in a bigger / original version. *sigh*

piranha said...

you can see them in larger versions, orangeguru -- just go to the site that is linked. the brooklyn bridge image, for example, can be viewed at up to 800x588 (i don't like their document viewer because at the high resolutions it has its own panning system which is much clumsier than my browser's built-in, *grump*).

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