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Seth Eastman's Mississippi ; a lost portfolio recovered

Author: John Francis McDermott
Publisher: Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1973]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The Mississippi River landscape so appealed to Captain Seth Eastman (stationed at Fort Snelling) that between 1846 and 1848 he painted dozens of excellent miniature landscapes of the river from the Falls of St. Anthony in Minnesota to a point below St. Louis near the mouth of the Ohio. Seventy-nine of the detailed scenes are reproduced here, enabling us to see the river as Eastman saw it in its wilderness state over  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
McDermott, John Francis, 1902-1981.
Seth Eastman's Mississippi.
Urbana, University of Illinois Press [1973]
(OCoLC)561207129
Named Person: Seth Eastman; Seth Eastman; Seth Eastman
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Francis McDermott
ISBN: 0252001923 9780252001925
OCLC Number: 749576
Description: xvii, 149 pages : illustrations ; 16 x 23 cm
Responsibility: John Francis McDermott.

Abstract:

The Mississippi River landscape so appealed to Captain Seth Eastman (stationed at Fort Snelling) that between 1846 and 1848 he painted dozens of excellent miniature landscapes of the river from the Falls of St. Anthony in Minnesota to a point below St. Louis near the mouth of the Ohio. Seventy-nine of the detailed scenes are reproduced here, enabling us to see the river as Eastman saw it in its wilderness state over 125 years ago, when white men's towns were just beginning to appear on the shores. Only recently discovered in a private collection, the delicate watercolors establish Eastman as an important landscape painter and the best watercolorist of the Upper Mississippi. Trained as a topographical artist at the U.S. Military Academy, Eastman approached painting realistically. Well known for his exact portrayals of Chippewas, Winnebagoes, and Sioux at their daily activities, Eastman displays in his landscapes the same precise realization of the river scene. The newly found paintings form the most extensive and carefully observed visual documentation of the Upper Mississippi ever undertaken. Of their quality, McDermott writes: "So small that they might have been painted with the aid of a jeweler's glass, so sharply distinct that the artist might have been viewing scenes through a telescope, so sensitive in the use of atmosphere, so delicate in their tints, these pictures are a glowing triumph" for Eastman. McDermott, who also wrote The Lost Panoramas of the Mississippi and Seth Eastman, Pictorial Historian of the Indian, traces the history of these watercolors in an absorbing essay and compiles an annotated catalog of them.

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