Friday, October 14, 2005

Around the World in 1815

Louis Choris, a painter from the Ukraine, was 20 years old when he boarded the Kotzebue in 1815 for a 3 year world tour. He eventually published Voyage pittoresque autour du monde, avec des portraits de sauvages d'Amerique, d'Asie, d'Afrique, et des iles du Grand ocean; des paysages, des vues maritimes, et plusieurs objets d'histoire naturelle in 1822. The text, which makes up about half the nearly 300 pages was by Baron Cuvier and a couple of others.

The captions for each picture are in their URL and clicking on them will give a slightly larger version.

The whole book has been digitized by the European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO) project at the Max Planck Institute and via the Humboldt Project. However, it's a slow server and although it's easy to use and has zooming capabilities, you will want some serious time to hone in properly on the details of these hand painted intaglio prints. I suggest I've probably picked out the gems, although it's worthwhile having a look at the thumb views of them all if you're keen.

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