Item #5000582 [Lithograph of Tattooed Marquesans]…. Heinrich Rudolf. BRODTMANN SCHINZ, lithographer and publisher, K. J.

[Lithograph of Tattooed Marquesans]…

Zurich: Brodtmann, 1824.

Quarto, 405 x 315 mm visible, decoratively mounted and framed.

Midsummer Night's Dream in the Marquesas

An amazing and large early lithographic image depicting two tattooed men of the Marquesan Islands of the South Pacific. This is the work of Heinrich Rudolf Schinz (1777-1861), a Swiss physician and naturalist, taken from his rare publication "Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen der Säugethiere", a remarkable ethnographic survey of native inhabitants of the world that brought together descriptions and images of peoples of Kamtschatka, Japan, China, Timor, Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, North America and Africa.

An amazing and large early lithographic image depicting two tattooed men of the Marquesan Islands of the South Pacific. This is the work of Heinrich Rudolf Schinz (1777-1861), a Swiss physician and naturalist, taken from his rare publication "Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen der Säugethiere", a remarkable ethnographic survey of native inhabitants of the world that brought together descriptions and images of peoples of Kamtschatka, Japan, China, Timor, Hawaii, Tahiti, Australia, North America and Africa.

Schinz sourced his work from major voyage accounts including those of Cook, Langsdorff, Kotzebue, Krusenstern and Baudin. Sailors on these early voyages began to adopt tattooing on first seeing these incredibly decorated islanders; by so doing they introduced the art to the West.

Schinz's images were first lithographed by Engelmann, the pioneer in the genre, and have been justly described as having a "Midsummer Night's Dream" air to them, a feeling which is evidenced in this remarkable image prepared by Karl Joseph Brodtmann (1787-1862), the accomplished Swiss artist and lithographer working in Zurich.

Marquesan tattoos can be recognized by symbols, such as geckos, centipedes, the Marquesan Cross and other geometric designs, while the overall designs distinguish themselves through the use of symbols and artistic renderings of lines, arches and circles. Such features are uniquely attributed and linked through history to the South Pacific Islands. Every individual's tattoos were different and signified heritage, accomplishments, the specific island the individual came from and their familial position. Boys received their first tattoos in their teens in a ritual setting and by older age often had tattoos all over their bodies as seen here.

Provenance: Private collection (New South Wales).

Condition Report: Very good

Price (AUD): $4,500.00

US$3,036.27   Other currencies

Ref: #5000582

Condition Report