A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Casa Catherwood At The Dawn Of Lithography
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Monday I satisfied my curiousity and went to Casa Catherwood. They have on display 25 original lithographs published by Catherwood in England. Originally he did them to illustrate his collaboration with American writer/diplomat John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan which was printed after their trip in 1842.

It was a special treat as I have seen reproductions (many very poor) in books for years but never an original from the limited edition of 300. To see these lithographs in full colour without the humanity of thousands that is the reality of 2007 is thrilling as is to see the ruins before their improved restoration.

The original jungle has been removed and one is mercy to the implacable Yucatan sun over one's head.

Not as well known as Stephens's and Catherwood's original Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan is their second effort, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. In the first book both travelers have to leave Uxmal suddenly as Catherwood comes down with a terrible fever. In Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, there are new Catherwood lithographs but there is also a detailed history of the conquest of Yucatan by the Spaniards and interesting account on how almost Texas and Yucatan became a country on its own. There is also a one year record (September 1842 to August 1843) of the temperatures in Merida in the morning, noon and the evening. The temperatures, similar to the ones we are experiencing now, do not reflect the extremely high relative humidity.

When possible, Rebecca wants to be in our hotel pool! Curiously only now did I find out that Catherwood used the camera obscura to help him get his sketches right. And both Stephens and Catherwood started a short lived (they experienced a brief beginner's luck) y venture of taking portraits of beautiful meridanas using the complicated method of the Daguerreotype.


Previous Posts
El Caracol, Chichén Itzá & A Flat in Hoctún

Six Fingers & The Malecón

Sanborns In Merida


La Música

La Muerte

Brother Edwin - Better Than Ever

Green Angels In Yucatán

Miss Willmott's Ghost

Rebecca & The Agave

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010