“Nebel’s version of Scott’s entrance sticks closer to the truth and is packed with psychological drama”—Sandweiss, et al

The End of the End

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424. [MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR]. NEBEL, C[arl]. Genl. Scott’s entrance into Mexico;[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: 28 x 43.2 cm; overall sheet size: 39 x 52 cm. Except for dark browning on verso, very 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. 196. Sandweiss, Stewart & Huseman, Eyewitness to War: Prints and Daguerreotypes of the Mexican War, 1846-1848, Plate 24 (p. 98), No. 159 (pp. 345-347): “Nebel’s version of Scott’s entrance sticks closer to the truth and is packed with psychological drama. There is no doubt here that the war is still on. Loaded cannons are posted to sweep the streets, while a body of dragoons in the foreground gathers tensely with drawn sabers near General Scott and his staff. In a particularly effective narrative detail, one of the dragoon officers, on a white horse in the center foreground, glares at a lepero on the left who is preparing to throw a stone. From the street or from doorways and partially closed windows, other citizens watch with fear, curiosity, apprehension, indignation, and in the case of the lepero with the stone and the armed men on the roof, open hostility, an allusion to the violence that broke out shortly thereafter.” Gen. Winfield Scott rides into Mexico City’s national square—“the halls of Montezuma,” in the words of the Marine Corps Hymn—to seize power and raise the flag. He followed the same invasion route as the sixteenth-century Spanish conquerors of Mexico. In the introduction to the 1994 reprint of the Kendall-Nebel portfolio, Tyler comments (pp. xxiv): “Nebel’s picture of the grand plaza of Mexico, with the cathedral in the center and the National Palace at the right, is almost identical to his earlier print” (in Viaje pintoresco de Méjico).


Auction 23 Abstracts

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