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History Archive > Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba (1855)

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Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba


Date: 1855



French-born Pierre Toussaint Frederic Mialhe lived in Cuba from 1838 to 1854, initially working for the printing firm Real Sociedad Patriotica to compile a pictorial record of the island. He also taught drawing at the Liceo Literario y Artistico in Havana. He had trained as a painter under Francois-Edouard Picot in Paris, but his greatest artistic legacy is the series of three lithographically-illustrated works that he produced whilst in Cuba: Isla de Cuba, Isla de Cuba Pintoresca and Viaje Pintoresco al Rededor de la Isla de Cuba.

The album includes 11 topographical views of Havana, 4 of other ports, 10 views of daily life, street vendors, dancers, cock-fighting, a bull-fight, fishermen, etc, and ending with two views which recall the two main industries of the time: the interior of a casa de calderas on a sugar-cane plantation, and an exterior view of a tobacco plantation.

Oblong quarto. (9 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches). Chromolithographic title heightened with gold, 27 chromolithographic plates by Storch & Kramer after Mialhe, each within an elaborate border printed in varying shades of blue and incorporating the plate number, the series title and the individual image title in Spanish, all printed recto only on thin card leaves, 2 folding uncolored maps printed on thin paper.

There are three editions of this last work. The first, Viaje Pintoresco ... was published by Louis Marquire for Mialhe in 1847-8 in Havana, and is now almost unobtainable: only two copies (one incomplete) are listed as having sold at auction in the past thirty five years. The success of this work prompted Bernardo May to issue the second, Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba which contained 26 tinted plates and was printed in either Berlin or Hamburg, with captions in Spanish, English and German, and a series of vignettes printed around the borders of the two maps: this was the first of the pirated editions. May was subsequently taken to court by Mialhe and the publisher, but they failed to prove their case and the present edition appeared shortly afterwards, with the full complement of 27 plates. This present edition is obviously the more desirable of the two as it is completely printed in colours, and the plates give much more detail than in the earlier pirated edition.


Bobins 20. Cf. Emilio Cueto, Mialhe's Colonial Cuba (Miami, 1994), pp. 1-7, 73-77; Palau 5421, and cf.167989; cf. Sabin 17748 (for the other pirated edition with only 26 plates); cf. G. Sanchez. "Federico Mialhe: diseno biografico y senalamientos para la estimacion de su obra" in Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional (La Habana), ano 66, no 2, 1975.

List of Images

1. Book Display

2. Front Cover

3. Title Page

4. Morro y Entrada Puerto de la Habana

5. Vista de la Habana. Tomada des de la entrada del Puerto No.1

6. Vista de la Habana parte de Estramuros. Tomada des de la entrada del Puerto

7. Habana. First vista tomada des de Casa-Blanca.

8. Habana. Second vista tomada des de Casa-Blanca

9. Habana. Third vista tomada des de Casa-Blanca

10. Plaza de Armas

11. Puertas de Monserrate

12. Teatro de Tacon y parte del Paseo de Isabel II. Vista tomada des de la puerta del Monserrate

13. Fuente de la India en El Paseo de Isabell II

14. Alameda de Paula

15. El Quitrin

16. El Panadero y El Malojero.

17. El Casero

18. Valla de Gallos

19. Dia de Reyes. The Holy Kings Day.

20. El Zapateado. (The national dance.)

21. Matanzas

22. Morro y entrada del Puerto de Santiago de Cuba

23. Vista general de la Ciudad y Montanas de Baracoa (Costa del Norte)

24. Cercanias de Baracoa y modo de viajar de sus naturales

25. Vista de la Iglesia Mayor y de la Ermita del Buen Viaje en San Juan de los Remedios

26. Vivienda de los Pescadores de Esponjas. Bahia de Nuevitas

27. Trinidad

28. Corrida de Toros

29. Vista de una Casa de Calderas

30. Vista de una Vega de Tabaco

31. Back Cover

Publication Information

Publisher: Berlin: Bernardo May y Co



Pages: 0


David Rumsey Cartography

ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-02-28

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