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Bodmer, Karl
Karl Bodmer (1809-1893)
Birth Place Riesbach, Switzerland
Death Place Barbizon, France
Born Feb. 6, 1809
Died Oct. 30, 1893
General Notes Karl Bodmer had the good fortune to meet a wealthy adventurer who catapulted the obscure Swiss watercolorist to international artistic fame. Born in Zurich, Bodmer began art instruction with his uncle, a painter who had studied under the celebrated Swiss romantic artist Johann Heinrich Füssli (1741-1825). Young Bodmer developed into a skilled draftsman, watercolorist, and engraver. He settled in the picturesque German town of Koblenz, on the Rhine, and distinguished himself as a sensitive watercolorist, whose sketches of the local landscape became popular with tourists. In Koblenz, Bodmer met Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, whose plan to document the topography and peoples of America's northern Plains changed the artist's life. After accompanying the prince on his western travels, Bodmer oversaw the production in Paris of the magnificent engraved plates. Later he took up painting in the Barbizon region of France. He died there, his reputation resting not on his late landscapes but on Travels in the Interior of North America between 1832 and 1834, his monumental historical and artistic achievement of decades earlier.
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