[Geysers] Identity of Hildebrand

TSBryan at aol.com TSBryan at aol.com
Wed Mar 7 10:03:12 PST 2007

For 2 or 3 years, I have been trying to learn the identity of an  
artist/engraver whose name appears on an 1874 engraving of Crested Pool and  Castle 
Geyser. The original is titled "The Great Geyser." It is clearly based on  a 
photograph by William Henry Jackson. The geyserite formations are accuarately  
rendered but the scale is highly exaggerated, in that a tiny little man is shown  
next to Crested Pool at a scale that implies that Crested is at least 100 feet  
in diameter. (In one copy of the picture, Crested is 3.6 inches across, the 
man  is 0.2 inch tall.)
Note that I also have copies of three other engravings that have similar  
exaggerations of scale. Two of these are by "E. Riou" from 1874, and one is by  
"W. J. Linton SC" dated 1872. We'll get back to those gentlemen.
As best as I can make it out, the name of the engraver, capital lettering  at 
the bottom right, reads "T HILDEBRAND". I have contacted numerous experts and 
 nobody could identify such a person.
A few days ago, when I was yet again Googling for "Hildebrand", I came  
across some engravings by "Hildibrand". A couple of these show trappers and  their 
camps in Alaska and are dated 1867. Ah, ha. I quickly found that this  
Hildibrand guy was Henri Theophile Hildibrand -- and about as quickly, I found  that 
obviously this same guy also spelled his name Hildebrand. And I learned  that 
Hildibrand/Hildebrand produced engravings for the first editions of several  
Jules Verne works, most notably 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World  
in 80 Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and etc.
But Oh! The original art was not done by Hildibrand, but by Edouard Riou.  
Hildibrand was only the engraver of the art for publication.
As noted above, I already have had two illustrations listed as by E. Riou.  
Although Hildebrand's name does not appear on either of them, I'll just bet he  
engraved them for Riou.
Bearing on this are two additional items. One is an illustration of an  
elephant from Around the World in 80 Days. It bears both Riou's name in  script at 
lower left and "HILDBRAND" (with no "i" or "e") in capital  lettering 
identical to that on "The Great Geyser" at lower right. Yay.
According to A. B. Evans (1998, "The Illustrators of Jules Verne's _Voyages  
Extraordinaires_", Science-Fiction Studies, vol. XXV, no. 2, p. 241-270),  
engraver Hildibrand/Hildebrand (it is spelled both ways in the article ! )  
sometimes embellished the original artwork of Riou.
I still have the question as to just where all this art originally  appeared. 
I _think_ it was probably in a French work titled _Le Monde Illustre_,  
either written by or edited by Paul Marcoy and published in either 1874 or  1875.
Henri Theophile Hildibrand was born in either 1824 or 1829 -- that's  another 
thing that seems uncertain -- and so far I've found no date of  death.
Edouard Riou was born in 1833, died in 1900. The other engravings I have by  
him are "The Cave" (actually, Grotto with tiny little people near and on the  
formation) and "Old Faithful Geyser" (again, a ridiculously huge set of  
formations per the scale of the people climbing it). The illustration of "The  
Cave" later appeared in other, American works, re-done and slightly  modified by 
other artists, and identified as Grotto; examples are John  Gibson, 1887, 
_Great Waterfalls, Cataracts, and Geysers_, and F. K. Warren,  1892, _California 
Illustrated, including a Trip through  Yellowstone Park_.
Finally, that other person. Identified as "The Giant Geyser", this  engraving 
was done by William James Linton. It appeared in _Picturesque America,  or 
the Land We Live In_, edited by William Cullen Bryant and published in 1872.  
Like the others, this is clearly based on a Jackson photo but includes the  
addition of a tiny little man running pell-mell away from Giant Geyser in  
Interesting stuff. At least, I had fun getting this stuff figured out  
(apparently, I think).
Scott Bryan

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