Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]. Pál Rosti.
Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]
Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]
Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]
Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]
Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]
Scarce, Illustrated 19th Century Travelogue of The Americas

Uti emlékezetek Amerikából. Írta Rosti Pál. [Travel Memories from America. Written by Pál Rosti.]

Pest: Heckenast Gusztáv, MDCCCLXI [1861]. First edition. In publisher’s illustrated blue wrappers. Illustrated with 15 lithographic plates protected by tracing paper, including 2 colour, mounted lithographs, 1 plates with two engravings, and 25 woodcut text illustrations, one full page. Lithographs made by Gustav Klette after Rosti’s photographs. Untrimmed as published. (8), 198, (2) p., and 16 plates; 1, errata tipped in at end of text. Cover and the first three leaves artistically restored. Leaves of the first quire with small damage at the lower corners. Overall in fine condition.

Extremely scarce, nineteenth-century travelogue of the Americas by the Hungarian naturalist and photography pioneer, Pál Rosti. “One of the most fascinating and beautiful travel books of the time”. (Venkovits, 2010.)

Pál Rosti (1830–1874) set out to explore and photograph the Americas in 1856, after studying natural sciences in Munich, as well as photography from Gustav Le Gray (1820–1884) in Paris. Following a seven-months-journey around the United States, he had been travelling through Central and South America for two years, following the footsteps of the German polymath, Alexander von Humboldt. During his travels in 1857–1859, Rosti photographed the plantations, towns and landmarks of Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico. His photographs include the earliest appearances of the industrial landscape in Mexican photography and are regarded as the first to depict the landscapes and distinctive features of Venezuela and Mexico with the aim of producing a scientific record. Rosti made the first known photographic views of the ruins of Xochicalco (see p. 189.).

Rosti published his memoirs in the present, 1861 book, in which he gives a detailed description of the landscape, climate, flora, industry, society and architecture of the countries he visited. He reported about slavery in accordance with the abolitionist ideas of the time and dedicated entire chapters to the free blacks and the different ethnicities of Havana. He also gives an account of Los Llanos, and the coffee and banana plantations in Venezuela, the Indians and the jungles of Mexico, as well as the politics, architecture, and the Creole and Mestizo population of Mexico City. The book is richly illustrated with lithographs based on Rosti’s original photographs, rendered by Gustav Klette [aka. Gusztáv Kelety, (1834–1902)]. Since it was impossible to capture moving subjects with the wax paper negative technology that Rosti learned from Le Gray, there were no people on his images, thus Klette supplemented the lithographic reproductions with human figures, based on Casimiro Castro’s (1826–1889) México y sus alrededores. The book also contains two engravings by Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802–1859), the German painter who visited Latin America influenced by Humboldt, and numerous woodcut text illustrations.

While still in Paris after returning to Europe, Rosti compiled an album of his Latin American photographs, of which five copies are known to survive in European museums and libraries. On his way back to Hungary, he stopped in Berlin and visited Alexander von Humboldt in the Tegel Palace to report about his travels and gave him a copy of his album, which today can be found in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. He also donated a copy of the album to the Hungarian National Museum and gave a one to each of his three sisters. In Hungary, Rosti played an active role in the academic circles. After publishing his memoir in 1961, he was accepted as a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His book was later published in Spanish (Caracas, 1968–1969) and in English (San Francisco, 1998) too.

Bibl.: Debroise, Olivier: Mexican Suite: A History of Photography in Mexico. Texas: University of Texas Press, 2001, p. 79.; Papp, Júlia: Az ötödik album – Rosti Pál (1830–1874) Fényképi Gyűjteményének újabb példánya. In: Fotóművészet 2008/2 LI. évfolyam. 2. szám; Venkovits, Balázs: Writing with Devotion, Drawing with Light: Images of the Americas in Nineteenth-Century Travelogues. In: Moroz, Grzegorz; Sztachelska, Jolanta: Metamorphoses of Travel Writing: Across Theories, Genres, Centuries and Literary Traditions. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010. pp. 104–112.

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Price: €5,000.00

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