Voyage pittoresque autour de 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; accompagne de descriptions par le Baron Cuvier, et A. de Chamisso, et d'observations sur les cranes humains, par m. le docteur Gall


Date: 1822



Louis Choris was appointed the official painter on a three-year scientific expedition led by Russian explorer Otto von Kotzebue in 1815. Choris was among the first trained artists to depict what would later become the west coast of the United States. This work, published in 1822 represents an important collaboration among his French contemporaries.

The volume is primarily composed of a number of highly detailed lithographs based on Choris's original watercolor paintings along with text written by J.B. Eyries. The work was expertly executed in France by important printer of the day, Firmin Didot.

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Full Title (English): Picturesque travel around the world: with portraits of savages from America, Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Big Ocean; landscapes, sea views, and several objects of natural history; accompanied by descriptions by Baron Cuvier, and A. de Chamisso, and observations on human skulls, by m. Dr. Gall

A very rare and splendid fully colored copy of the first edition, the plates drawn by the expedition artist on Kotzebue's world voyage of 1815-1818. Essentially, this is an illustrated album recording only the most memorable facts of the voyage but with full explanations of the plates more of which relate to California, Hawaii, Kamchatka and Alaska than any other work of the period and the Philippines, Chile and Easter Island.

It is arranged in 8 sections which were first sold in 22 livraisons, 1820-1822 (although both Brunet and Howes state that publication ended in 1823). Two title-pages were printed, dated 1820 to accompany the first livraison, and 1822 for the successive parts. There was only one issue of the text and plates, according to Forbes, and although a lithographic portrait of the artist is found in a few copies, its presence does not constitute an issue point. Indeed, it may have been produced only after the work was completed.

The publisher's rolls suggest a possible 188 copies and the Kings of France and Prussia were listed as subscribers. Extant copies are held at about 36 other institutions, the nearest at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. Voyage Pittoresque was originally issued in 22 separate parts and consisted of 105 plates that depicted the places, people and animals from the expedition.

Subscribers would then have the parts bound into a complete volume that reflected the individual collector's taste and fashion. Representing much of the Pacific Rim including Alaska, California, and Hawaii, this volume is a beautiful and fundamental view of the early 19th century on the West Coast. Issued in uncolored, partly colored, and fully colored editions.

"One of the very valuable and fundamental works on Alaska, California, and the Hawaiian islands" (Lada-Mocarski).

The text was written and edited by J.B. Eyries and the list of subscribers (present in this copy) accounts for 188 copies. Choris supervised the execution of the plates himself and reworked several to his liking. Four variant plates are noted by Forbes as the most important and this copy has the last and presumably preferred variants of all of them: the dance at the mission in San Francisco lithographed by Langlume; King Kamehameha less wrinkled; Queen Kaahmanu with spelling of her name corrected (to "Cahoumanou"); and the dance of the Hawaiian women with the additional background and a possible self-portrait of Choris in the foreground.

This latter plate is the "much more beautiful" of the two issues in the opinion of Lada-Mocarski. The manuscript text of the voyage was never published but his album is highly prized for its beauty and its historical record. Forbes writes that it contains "a final and very beautiful pictorial examination of the Hawaiian Islands and of Hawaiian culture as it existed prior to the death of Kamehameha I in 1819, and prior to the abolition of the 'kapu' or feudal system following the king's death" and considers it "the great colorplate book of the Northern Pacific" (emphasis ours). Any copies are rare on the market; this one is in particularly attractive condition.


University of Washington Libraries

Brunet I:1851 (calling for 110 plates); Forbes 541; Hill 290; Howes C-397; Lada-Mocarski 84; Peters California on Stone pp. 97-98; Sabin 12884; Streeter sale 2461; Tourville 925; Wickersham 6676.

1. Front Cover
10. Fucus antartique
100. Guillemot a ligne blanche
101. Fruit du Banquois, des iles Mariannes
102. Habitans des iles Marianes
103. Costumes des Malais de l'ile de Luzon
104. Fille des montagnes dans l'ile de Luzon
105. Volcan de Taal, dans l'ile de Luzon
106. Negres de la Cote d'or
107. Ile Ste. Helene
108. Carte des Iles Radak et Ralik
109. Plan du Groupe des Iles Rumanzoff
11. Araucanos indigenes de Chili
110. Carte du Grand Ocean
111. Back Cover
12. Habillement du peuple du Chili
13. Bateaux a rames / Une rame / Une massure de l'isle de Pasques
14. Habitans de l'isle de Pasques
15. Bateau a rame de l'isle Romanzoff / Bateau a rame / Armes des habitans des isles de lady Penrhynes
16. Kamtchadales
17. Habitans du Golfe de Kotzebue
18. Ustensiles et armes des habitans du detroit de Behring. (5 figs)
19. Dessins traces sur des morceaux de dents de Morse par les Habitans du Golfe de Kotzebue. (8 figs)
2. Frontispiece Portrait
20. Objects
21. Crane de femme trouve dans le Golfe de Kotzebue I
22. Crane de femme trouve dans le Golfe de Kotzebue II
23. Chien de mer du detroit de Bhering
24. Vue des Glaces dans le Golfe de Kotzebue
25. Tchouktchis et leurs habitations
26. Cap de los Reynes a 6 miles de distance
27. Vue de Presidio San Francisco
28. Danse des habitans de Californie a la mission de San Francisco
29. Jeu des habitans de Californie
3. Title Page
30. L'Ours gris de l'Amerique Septentrionale
31. Habitants de Californie. (femmes)
32. Habitants de Californie. (hommes)
33. Armes et ustensiles de Californie.
34. Bateau du port de San Francisco
35. Trouve recemment dans un tombeau Indien aux Etats-unis, dans le Conecticut
36. Jeune lion marin de la Californie
37. Coiffures de danse des habitans de la Californie
38. Tcholovonis a la chasse dans le baie de San Francisco
39. Pipe des isles de la Reine Charlotte a la Cote Nord ouest d'Amerique
4. Vers Marins (Jellyfish)
40. Isle Ovayhi
41. Tammeamea, Roi des isles Sandwich
42. Reine Cahoumanou
43. Taymotou, frere de la Reine Cahoumanou
44. Temple du Roi dans la baie Tiritatea
45. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (4 figs each)
46. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (4 figs each)
47. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (3 figs)
48. Vue du port Hanarourou
49. Habitants des isles Sandwich
5. Vers Marins (Jellyfish)
50. Armes et ustensiles des isles Sandwich
51. Danse des hommes dams les isles Sandwich
52. Bateaux des isles Sandwich. (2 figs)
53. Bonnets et ustensiles des isles Sandwich. (5 figs)
54. Habitants des sles Sandwich
55. Danse des femmes dans les isles Sandwich
56. Femme des isles Sandwich
57. Port d'hanarourou
58. Interieur d'une maison d'un chef dans les isles Sandwich
59. Larik chef du groupe des isles Romanzoff
6. Negres de la cote Mosambique
60. Armes et ustensiles des isles Radak. (9 figs)
61. Ornemens des habitans des isles Radak
62. Bateaux a rames des isles Radak
63. Femme du groupe des isles Saltikoff
64. Fruit du Baquois des isles Radak
65. Fruit de l'arbre a pain
66. Labeleloa. Chef du groupe des islrs Koutousoff Smolenski
67. Femme du groupe des isles Tchitchagoff
68. Fruit du Baquois des isles Radak
69. Bateaux a voile des isles Radak
7. Instrument de musique des Negres
70. Bateau a voile des isles Radak
71. Homme des isles Radak
72. Vue d'une ile dans le groupe Krusenstern
73. Fruit du Cocotier.
74. Interieur d'une maison dams les isles Radak
75. Kadou, habitant des isles Carolines.
76. Bateau des isles Carolines
77. Vue dans les isles Radak
78. Ile de Younaska a 12 milles de distance
79. Iles Aleoutiennes.
8. Coquero de Bresil (Cocos Romanzoffiana Cham.)
80. Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (hommes)
81. Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (homme et femme)
82. Chapeau des habitans des isles Aleoutiennes sur lequel sont peints divers animaux marins
83. Cranes des haitans des isles Aleoutiennes
84. Oululuk principal etablissement sur l'ile d'Ounalachka
85. Bateaux des isles Aleoutiennes
86. Costumes des habitants des Isles Aleoutiennes
87. Corbeilles des isles Aleoutiennes
88. Vue du port d'Ounalaschka
89. Macareux huppe
9. La Spate du Coquero de Bresil (11 figs)
90. Ile d'Ounimak
91. Lions marins dans l'ile de St. Georg
92. Ours marins dans l'ile de St. Paul
93. Habitans de l'ile St. Laurent
94. Interieur d'une maison dans l'ile St. Laurent
95. Bateau a rames de l'ile St. Laurent
96. Armes des peuples qui habitent pres du detroit de Behring
97. Guillemot a Capuchon
98. Guillemot a gros bec
99. Guillemot a miroir blanc

Publisher: Paris : Impr. de Firmin Didot




Getty Research Institute

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-06

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