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VISTA DE LA CIUDAD DE SANTIAGO DE CHILE DESDE LA FALDA DEL CERRO DE SANTO DOMINGO
[Np, probably Madrid]: "Brambila lo delineó y gravó," [nd, ca. 1795].. Copper engraved landscape view, 30.4 x 45.2 cm. Paper watermarked "Ynfantado." In fine condition, with wide margins. Mounted. This fine view of the city of Santiago is one of very few original publications deriving from the Malaspina expedition to America, Australia, and the Pacific in the 1790s. Court intrigue and controversies in Spain meant that no official publication of the voyage ever appeared despite the original intention to produce a huge published account in the style of the French "grand voyages." It was with such a publication in mind that the expedition was designed to include a number of artists to record landscape as well as scientific and anthropological observations. The Milanese artist, Fernando Brambila, was commissioned, along with his fellow artist, Ravenet, to work on the latter part of the expedition, joining Malaspina's ships in Acapulco on their return from the northwest coast. Brambila stayed with the expedition from September 1791 until its return to Cadiz in September 1793. Aboard the Atrevida he drew views of Guam, the Philippines, Macao, Vavao, Chile, and Argentina. In Spain he prepared some of his drawings for engraving, in anticipation of the full official publication of the voyage - which never eventuated. Brambila became Director of Landscape Painting at the Academy of San Fernando, and later was attached to the court of Fernando VII. He died in Paris in 1842. His original drawing for this fine engraving survives in the Bauza collection at the University of Santiago; it is reproduced by Serrano (LOS PINTORES DE LA EXPEDICIÓN DE ALEJANDRO MALASPINA [Madrid, 1982], no. 154; see also Bonifacio de Carril, LA EXPEDICIÓN MALASPINA EN LOS MARES AMERICANOS DEL SUR. LA COLLECIÓN BAUJA 1789-1794 [Buenos Aires, 1961], plate X; and Julio Guillén y Tato, EXPOSICIÓN DE DIGUJOS Y GRABADOS DE LOS ARTISTAS QUE FIGURARON EN LAS EXPEDICIONES CIENTIFICAS [Las Palmas, 1952], no. 262; and Eugenio Pereira Salas, HISTORIA DEL ARTE EN EL REINO DEL CHILE [Santiago, 1965]). Serrano describes the drawing as "una espléndida vista de los campos que preceden a la ciudad, cuya silueta se observa al fondo...." Serrano also notes that Brambila's preparatory drawing for the engraving survives in the Museo Naval, Madrid.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Americana]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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