[Geysers] Identity of Hildebrand

John Taliaferro johntalia at starband.net
Thu Mar 22 07:42:06 PDT 2007

To Scott Bryan: I am intrigued by your pursuit of the Hildi/ebrand engravings. I am not an expert in fine art, but I can attest that the license Hildibrand took with Riou's images is not exceptional. As you doubtless know, engravings were often done by artisans who had no direct contact with the artist of the original image, nor did they have any familiarity with the subject matter. Take, for example, the prints of George Catlin, one of the first and finest documentarians of Western Indians. His drawings and paintings were turned over to engravers in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is where the best 19th century engraving was done (see Audubon, etc.). The engraver, for all their other talents, knew next to zilch about the American West, and so to fill out a Catlin composition of an Indian stalking an antelope, he would add a tree -- a species of European tree not found in the United States -- to the background. In your search for more on Hildibrand, have you tried Edinburgh? John Taliaferro
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