Nebel’s Storming of Chapultepec — The Middle of the End

The Origin of “Los Niños Héroes” in Mexican Patriotic Lore

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

427. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. NEBEL, C[arl]. Storming of Chapultepec—Pillow’s attack;[below image] C. Nebel fecit. | Bayot lith; [lower left in image within oval] Entered according to act of Congress. [New York: D. Appleton; Philadelphia: George Appleton; Paris: Plon Brothers, 1851.] Original full colored and toned lithograph on handmade paper, finished by hand applying gum arabic highlights (after art work by Nebel, printed and lithographed by Lemercier and Adolphe Jean Baptiste Bayot). Image area: 27.3 x 42.5 cm. Overall sheet size: 40.3 x 55.5 cm. Light scattered foxing, confined almost totally to blank margin, verso with moderately scattered foxing to blank margins, image fine.

     First printing. The plate is from Kendall & Nebel’s folio book The War between the United States and Mexico Illustrated... (see Kendall herein for the complete album). Kurutz & Mathes, The Forgotten War, p. 195. Sandweiss, Stewart & Huseman, Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848, Plate 21 (p. 95), No. 146 (p. 326): “Nebel’s illustration for Kendall was apparently the first contemporary print to depict with any accuracy the attack by Major General Gideon Pillow’s division on Chapultepec’s western side.... Prominent in Nebel’s picture are the screens of timber and sandbags, which Justin Smith refers to as ‘blindage.’ These queer-looking structures, which appear in several of the contemporary prints of Chapultepec, protected the defenders from falling howitzer and mortar shells.... Major General Nicolás Bravo, the commander of Chapultepec, had only 832 infantry plus some artillerymen and engineers to defend extensive works that needed at least 2,000 men. The buildings of the castle were not as strong as they looked, and the incessant American bombardment had a serious effect on the defenders’ already low morale.... Among Bravo’s defenders were a handful of cadets from the Military College. Of these, six died defending the castle and are remembered as Los Niños Héroes in Mexican patriotic lore.”


Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $490.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: