Lamina XXIII. From Mariano Edward Rivero and John James von Tschudi’s Antiquites Peruviennes. Vienna: Institute Litografico de D. Leopoldo Muller, 1851. 16 1/2 x 21 1/4 (full sheet). Tinted lithography with touches of hand coloring on some plates. Very good condition.
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A large, striking image of antiquities from Peru issued in 1851. The mid-nineteenth century was a time when the intellectual community of Europe was straining to attain a new and wider appreciation of all cultures in all time periods. One of the most fertile areas of study was in archeology, and the German speaking nations were applying scientific principles and new technology in that combination of art and science. These products of Vienna are paramount as evidence of that pursuit. After 400 years of Spanish suppression of the Indian religion and culture, the collection and translation of codices and interpretation of artifacts was a new beginning in attempts to understand a culture from the past.
Joseph Sabin describes these prints well and succinctly in his Biblioteca Americana (71643):
“A work of great importance on the ethnology and antiquities of Peru. It treats on the history, government, religion, language, science and arts of the Incas prior to the Spanish invasion, and contains the earliest authentic delineation of their architectural and other remains. The plates, which comprise upwards to eighty engravings, were executed with great care and finely colored.”