Album of Virginia or Illustration of the Old Dominion by Edward Beyer
When distinguished German artist Edward Beyer visited the United Stated in the early 1850s, he was quick to recognize the almost unparalleled beauty of Virginia and it was there that he concentrated his work. He spent three years in Virginia working on the original drawings for this book.
The superb tinted lithograph views include beautiful natural scenes, Harper's Ferry, White Sulphur Springs, railroad bridges and tunnels (e.g Highbridge near Farmville), views in Weyer's Cave, and scenes at many of the fashionable resorts which nestled amid the mountains of Southwest Virginia. A broad variety of places in Virginia are shown.
Deak writes of Beyer, "He was taken by the beauty of the Virginia landscape, particularly by the elegant settings of some of the region's watering places...Virginians responded warmly to Beyer's enterprise and often gave him advance access to architectural plans when these could be of help to him. There was probably no Virginia county that Beyer left unvisited in his zeal to present what is, in fact, an affectionate family album of an entire state." Deak praises Beyer's "delicate and precise style" and "characteristic refinement of proportion."
This is a major outstanding item, the rarity of which is by no means fully appreciated" (Bennett)
Although the title page gives Richmond as a place of printing, the book was actually produced in Germany, with the plates being prepared in Dresden and the letterpress in Berlin. Originally issued in five parts.
Oblong folio. (16 1/4 x 24 inches).
The plates are 40 tinted lithographs by Rau & son, Dresden (18), and W. Locillot, Berlin (22).
Bennett p.10; Deak Picturing America 721; Howes B413 ("b"); Sabin 5125.