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Das Leben des Malers Johann Weber von Bern. [Published as:] XVII Neujahrstuck, herausgegeben von der Kunstler-Gesellschaft in Zurich auf das Jahr 1821
Zurich: n.p. 1821. Square octavo, aquatint frontispiece, 13pp. with engraved oval portrait at head of first page; a fine copy in the original printed brown wrappers, preserved in a folding bookform case. Only edition, rare: with the famous engraved portrait of John Webber, the official artist of Cook's third voyage. This was the only contemporary portrait of Webber to have been published.This biographical essay is the main source of the little that is known about the life of Webber, and is based on letters and oral communications Wagner collected soon after Webber's death in 1793, including information from the artist's brother Henry. A stand-alone and separately-paginated publication, this was issued in a series of small printings put out by the Society of Artists (Kunstler-Gesellschaft) in Zurich who seem to have produced an annual publication every New Year over some decades.Wagner's pamphlet not only features an attractive frontispiece based on Webber's image of the burial platform in Tahiti, one of the more famous images from his Voyages in the South Seas (plate VIII), but is especially notable for the engraved portrait of Webber himself by K. Meyer. For such a prolific artist there are curiously few known likenesses. He did paint a miniature self-portrait now held in Bern, and this painting was used as the basis for a larger work by Johann Daniel Mottet in 1812. One or other of these very similar paintings was evidently the basis for Meyer's engraving. Significantly, the only other lifetime portrait of Webber appears to be John Spiller's marble plaque of the artist in profile (now in the Rex Nan Kivell collection in the National Library of Australia).Forbes knew the work only from the Sir Maurice Holmes copy in the UCLA library.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2017-12-21           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    

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