Beautiful Hand-Colored Lithograph After Karl Bodmer
Two Female Native American Captives
This full-length portrait of two female Native Americans after Karl Bodmer, originally issued as Tableau No. 9 as part of the famous atlas illustrating Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied's North American travel account. The two individuals shown here were encountered at different dates and at different locations: the woman in June 1833 at Fort Pierre (in present-day South Dakota), while the girl was met four months later at Fort Union (in present-day North Dakota). The woman's Sioux name, Chan-Chä-Uiá-Teüin, was translated as "woman of the Crow nation," implying that she was a captive. The girl, whose name was not recorded, was purportedly a Blackfeet (Siksika) "living with the Assiniboin" suggesting that she too may have been a captive.
Maximilian’s monumental account first appeared in German (1839-41), followed by a French translation in 1840-43 and an English edition in 1843. The Paris-issued pictorial atlas contained eighty-one aquatint plates (48 "imperial" folios and 33 smaller "vignette" plates often called quarto in size), engraved and etched on metal sheets, after paintings by Karl Bodmer, and which accompanied all three editions. The plates are outstanding authentic depictions of the western plains and Native Americans by a highly skilled European artist. Bodmer avoided romanticizing his subjects, and attempted to record the people and places he encountered as true to life as possible.
The present version, a hand-colored lithograph, was made in Zurich by J. Honegger in 1845, to illustrate Rudolf Heinrich Schinz's Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen des Menschen der verschiedenen Rassen und Stamme. This Zurich lithograph is reversed from the original aquatint print in which the two subjects were facing left.