Biographical Sketch of Karl Bodmer

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"Encampment of the Piekann Indians" Karl Bodmer 1833
Plate 15 - "Encampment of the Piekann Indians" Karl Bodmer 1833

Karl Bodmer, born in Zurich, Switzerland, 1805; died 1894. Studied under Cornu. He accompanied Maximilian, Prince of Wied, on several journeys, including that up the Valley of the Missouri. Many of his original sketches made during that memorable trip are now in the Edward E. Ayer collection, Newberry Library, Chicago.

His later works are chiefly of wooded landscapes, some being scenes in the valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi. Bodmer was a very close friend of the great artist Jean Francois Millet. De Cost Smith, in Century Magazine, May, 1910, discussing the close association of the two artists, and referring especially to their joint work, wrote: “The two men must have worked together from the pure joy of friendship, for it must be confessed that the work of neither was very greatly improved by the other’s additions. Bodmer would put a horse into one of Millet’s Indian pictures and add some vegetation in the foreground, Millet would return the favor by introducing figures into Bodmer’s landscapes. But this does not refer to the sketches made by Bodmer during his journey up the Missouri in 1833.

MLA Source Citation:

Bushnell, David Ives. Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi. Published in Bulletin 77, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution. Washington. 1922. Web. 24 January 2015. - Last updated on Mar 31st, 2012


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