Carl Nebel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Carl Nebel (18 March 1805 – 4 June 1855) was a German engineer, architect and draughtsman,[1] best known for his detailed paintings and lithographic prints made from them of the Mexican landscape and people during the battles of the Mexican–American War.

Biography[edit]

Scott's Entry to the Plaza de la Constitución

.

Nebel was born at Altona, today a part of Hamburg. After studies in Hamburg and Paris, he travelled to America,[1] where he was a resident of Mexico from 1829 until 1834. In 1836, he published in Paris his renowned illustrated work on that country—Voyage pittoresque et archéologique dans la partie la plus intéressante du Méxique, with 50 lithographs made from his paintings, twenty of which were hand-colored, and an introduction by Alexander von Humboldt.[2]

In 1851, he published together with journalist George Wilkins Kendall some of his paintings of the events of the Mexican–American War in the book The War between the United States and Mexico Illustrated. Kendall had been a war correspondent and saw the opportunity to publish a major account of the war. The two came to an agreement to collaborate as the war was ending, Kendall having apparently been familiar with Nebel's earlier work. While Kendall went to Paris to cover events in 1848, Nebel remained in Mexico for an unknown length of time to complete the initial sketches for the book's illustrations. Nebel had returned to Hamburg, and Kendall chafed at the slowness of completion of the project, but it was completed in 1850 and published in 1851. The book contained twelve color lithographs done by Adolphe Jean-Baptiste Bayot and was printed by Joseph-Rose Lemercier, a leading lithographer.[3] In both cases, Nebel's illustrations were enhanced by his making use of the newest printing developments in France, especially techniques for adding color to the prints.[4] The prints from the Mexican war series were distributed in several different formats, as a single print, as a set of 12, a portfolio with text, and in the bound, folio-sized book.[5]

The most famous in the Mexican war series is his depiction of General Winfield Scott's 1847 entry to the main square Zócalo of Mexico City, with the U.S. flag flying over the National Palace. It is almost identical to his illustration done a decade and a half before. The war scene Nebel presents is closer to the reality on the ground, where the conquering U.S. forces were not welcomed by the resident population, particularly by a street person (lépero) about to hurl a rock at the invaders.[6] Although Kendall's text and Nebel's illustrations attempt to be true to the accounts of battle, there is no evidence that either one was at the Battle of Buena Vista, located in a remote part of northern Mexico.[7] Kendall was a correspondent and saw the Battle of Molino del Rey, but Nebel was not. The battle is often not depicted in contemporary illustrations, but Nebel did two different views of it.[8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Thieme-Becker, entry "Nebel, Carl"
  2. ^ D. Sloan Rare Books: Auction 22: Nebel, C[arl], "Voyage pittoresque et archéologique dans la partie la plus intéressante du Mexique". URL last accessed 2008-09-16.
  3. ^ Dorothy Sloan–Rare Books: Auction 21
  4. ^ Sandweiss, Martha A., Rick Stewart, and Ben W. Huseman, Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848. Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum 1989, pp. 36-37.
  5. ^ Sandweiss et al., Eyewitness to War p.13.
  6. ^ Sandweiss et al., Eyewitness to War pp. 345-47. The print is on the book's dust cover.
  7. ^ Sandweiss et al., Eyewitness to War, p. 163.
  8. ^ Sandweiss et al., Eyewitness to War, p. 317

Further reading[edit]

  • Aguilar Ochoa, "The Visual Adventures of an Itinerant Painter" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, pp. 67–70.
  • Diener, Pablo. "Picturesque Mexico" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, pp. 74–77.
  • López Luján, Leonardo. "Mesoamerican Archeology in Carl Nebel's Work" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, pp. 70–74.
  • Mayer, Roberto. "Bibliographic Curiosity" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, p. 80.
  • Orellana, Margarita de. "Views from Afar and from Up Close" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, p. 66.
  • Tyler, Ron. "A Great American Book: The War between the United States and Mexico, Illustrated" in Artes de México. No. 80, "Carl Nebel: Nineteenth-Century Itinerant Painter", August 2006, pp. 77–80.

External links[edit]