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Alexander von Humboldt
(1769-1859)
Vues de Cordillères et Monuments des Peuples Indigenes de L'Amérique
Paris, 1810


Humboldt, the great German geographer and naturalist, published extensively on physical geography, geology, zoology, botany, astronomy, and, almost parenthetically, archaeology. He traveled throughout Cuba, Central America, and South America (especially the Orinoco river basin and the Andean highlands) from 1799 to 1804.

The Vues des Cordillères is notable for its beautiful aquatint plates of scenes in South and Central America made after Humdoldt's original sketches. The atlas includes the first printed reproductions of the Vaticanus and Dresden Maya codices as well as drawings and analyses of three colossal Aztec stone monuments: the twelve-foot "calendar" stone, the circular altar of Tizoc and the awesome statue of Coatlicue, all of which had been discovered under the central plaza Zócalo in Mexico City in 1790.

The Imperial Russian copy from the Tsarskoe Selo library.


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