History Archive > Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde (1822)

Voyage pittoresque autour de monde : avec des portraits de sauvages d'Amerique, d'Asie, d'Afrique, et des iles du Grand ocean; des paysages, des vues maritimes, et plusieurs objets d'histoire naturelle; accompagne de descriptions par le Baron Cuvier, et A. de Chamisso, et d'observations sur les cranes humains, par m. le docteur Gall


Date: 1822



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Choris, Louis, von Kotzebue, Otto, Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde. Paris : Impr. de Firmin Didot. 1822.


Choris, Louis, von Kotzebue, Otto, (1822) Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde. Paris : Impr. de Firmin Didot.


Choris, Louis, von Kotzebue, Otto, Voyage Pittoresque Autour de Monde. Paris : Impr. de Firmin Didot. 1822.


Louis Choris was appointed the official painter on a three-year scientific expedition led by Russian explorer Otto von Kotzebue in 1815. Choris was among the first trained artists to depict what would later become the west coast of the United States. This work, published in 1822 represents an important collaboration among his French contemporaries.

The volume is primarily composed of a number of highly detailed lithographs based on Choris's original watercolor paintings along with text written by J.B. Eyries. The work was expertly executed in France by important printer of the day, Firmin Didot.

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Full Title (English): Picturesque travel around the world: with portraits of savages from America, Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Big Ocean; landscapes, sea views, and several objects of natural history; accompanied by descriptions by Baron Cuvier, and A. de Chamisso, and observations on human skulls, by m. Dr. Gall

A very rare and splendid fully colored copy of the first edition, the plates drawn by the expedition artist on Kotzebue's world voyage of 1815-1818. Essentially, this is an illustrated album recording only the most memorable facts of the voyage but with full explanations of the plates more of which relate to California, Hawaii, Kamchatka and Alaska than any other work of the period and the Philippines, Chile and Easter Island.

It is arranged in 8 sections which were first sold in 22 livraisons, 1820-1822 (although both Brunet and Howes state that publication ended in 1823). Two title-pages were printed, dated 1820 to accompany the first livraison, and 1822 for the successive parts. There was only one issue of the text and plates, according to Forbes, and although a lithographic portrait of the artist is found in a few copies, its presence does not constitute an issue point. Indeed, it may have been produced only after the work was completed.

The publisher's rolls suggest a possible 188 copies and the Kings of France and Prussia were listed as subscribers. Extant copies are held at about 36 other institutions, the nearest at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland, Oregon. Voyage Pittoresque was originally issued in 22 separate parts and consisted of 105 plates that depicted the places, people and animals from the expedition.

Subscribers would then have the parts bound into a complete volume that reflected the individual collector's taste and fashion. Representing much of the Pacific Rim including Alaska, California, and Hawaii, this volume is a beautiful and fundamental view of the early 19th century on the West Coast. Issued in uncolored, partly colored, and fully colored editions.

"One of the very valuable and fundamental works on Alaska, California, and the Hawaiian islands" (Lada-Mocarski).

The text was written and edited by J.B. Eyries and the list of subscribers (present in this copy) accounts for 188 copies. Choris supervised the execution of the plates himself and reworked several to his liking. Four variant plates are noted by Forbes as the most important and this copy has the last and presumably preferred variants of all of them: the dance at the mission in San Francisco lithographed by Langlume; King Kamehameha less wrinkled; Queen Kaahmanu with spelling of her name corrected (to "Cahoumanou"); and the dance of the Hawaiian women with the additional background and a possible self-portrait of Choris in the foreground.

This latter plate is the "much more beautiful" of the two issues in the opinion of Lada-Mocarski. The manuscript text of the voyage was never published but his album is highly prized for its beauty and its historical record. Forbes writes that it contains "a final and very beautiful pictorial examination of the Hawaiian Islands and of Hawaiian culture as it existed prior to the death of Kamehameha I in 1819, and prior to the abolition of the 'kapu' or feudal system following the king's death" and considers it "the great colorplate book of the Northern Pacific" (emphasis ours). Any copies are rare on the market; this one is in particularly attractive condition.


University of Washington Libraries

Brunet I:1851 (calling for 110 plates); Forbes 541; Hill 290; Howes C-397; Lada-Mocarski 84; Peters California on Stone pp. 97-98; Sabin 12884; Streeter sale 2461; Tourville 925; Wickersham 6676.

List of Images

1. Front Cover

2. Frontispiece Portrait

3. Title Page

4. Vers Marins (Jellyfish)

5. Vers Marins (Jellyfish)

6. Negres de la cote Mosambique

7. Instrument de musique des Negres

8. Coquero de Bresil (Cocos Romanzoffiana Cham.)

9. La Spate du Coquero de Bresil (11 figs)

10. Fucus antartique

11. Araucanos indigenes de Chili

12. Habillement du peuple du Chili

13. Bateaux a rames / Une rame / Une massure de l'isle de Pasques

14. Habitans de l'isle de Pasques

15. Bateau a rame de l'isle Romanzoff / Bateau a rame / Armes des habitans des isles de lady Penrhynes

16. Kamtchadales

17. Habitans du Golfe de Kotzebue

18. Ustensiles et armes des habitans du detroit de Behring. (5 figs)

19. Dessins traces sur des morceaux de dents de Morse par les Habitans du Golfe de Kotzebue. (8 figs)

20. Objects

21. Crane de femme trouve dans le Golfe de Kotzebue I

22. Crane de femme trouve dans le Golfe de Kotzebue II

23. Chien de mer du detroit de Bhering

24. Vue des Glaces dans le Golfe de Kotzebue

25. Tchouktchis et leurs habitations

26. Cap de los Reynes a 6 miles de distance

27. Vue de Presidio San Francisco

28. Danse des habitans de Californie a la mission de San Francisco

29. Jeu des habitans de Californie

30. L'Ours gris de l'Amerique Septentrionale

31. Habitants de Californie. (femmes)

32. Habitants de Californie. (hommes)

33. Armes et ustensiles de Californie.

34. Bateau du port de San Francisco

35. Trouve recemment dans un tombeau Indien aux Etats-unis, dans le Conecticut

36. Jeune lion marin de la Californie

37. Coiffures de danse des habitans de la Californie

38. Tcholovonis a la chasse dans le baie de San Francisco

39. Pipe des isles de la Reine Charlotte a la Cote Nord ouest d'Amerique

40. Isle Ovayhi

41. Tammeamea, Roi des isles Sandwich

42. Reine Cahoumanou

43. Taymotou, frere de la Reine Cahoumanou

44. Temple du Roi dans la baie Tiritatea

45. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (4 figs each)

46. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (4 figs each)

47. Idoles des isles Sandwich. (3 figs)

48. Vue du port Hanarourou

49. Habitants des isles Sandwich

50. Armes et ustensiles des isles Sandwich

51. Danse des hommes dams les isles Sandwich

52. Bateaux des isles Sandwich. (2 figs)

53. Bonnets et ustensiles des isles Sandwich. (5 figs)

54. Habitants des sles Sandwich

55. Danse des femmes dans les isles Sandwich

56. Femme des isles Sandwich

57. Port d'hanarourou

58. Interieur d'une maison d'un chef dans les isles Sandwich

59. Larik chef du groupe des isles Romanzoff

60. Armes et ustensiles des isles Radak. (9 figs)

61. Ornemens des habitans des isles Radak

62. Bateaux a rames des isles Radak

63. Femme du groupe des isles Saltikoff

64. Fruit du Baquois des isles Radak

65. Fruit de l'arbre a pain

66. Labeleloa. Chef du groupe des islrs Koutousoff Smolenski

67. Femme du groupe des isles Tchitchagoff

68. Fruit du Baquois des isles Radak

69. Bateaux a voile des isles Radak

70. Bateau a voile des isles Radak

71. Homme des isles Radak

72. Vue d'une ile dans le groupe Krusenstern

73. Fruit du Cocotier.

74. Interieur d'une maison dams les isles Radak

75. Kadou, habitant des isles Carolines.

76. Bateau des isles Carolines

77. Vue dans les isles Radak

78. Ile de Younaska a 12 milles de distance

79. Iles Aleoutiennes.

80. Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (hommes)

81. Habitans des isles Aleoutiennes. (homme et femme)

82. Chapeau des habitans des isles Aleoutiennes sur lequel sont peints divers animaux marins

83. Cranes des haitans des isles Aleoutiennes

84. Oululuk principal etablissement sur l'ile d'Ounalachka

85. Bateaux des isles Aleoutiennes

86. Costumes des habitants des Isles Aleoutiennes

87. Corbeilles des isles Aleoutiennes

88. Vue du port d'Ounalaschka

89. Macareux huppe

90. Ile d'Ounimak

91. Lions marins dans l'ile de St. Georg

92. Ours marins dans l'ile de St. Paul

93. Habitans de l'ile St. Laurent

94. Interieur d'une maison dans l'ile St. Laurent

95. Bateau a rames de l'ile St. Laurent

96. Armes des peuples qui habitent pres du detroit de Behring

97. Guillemot a Capuchon

98. Guillemot a gros bec

99. Guillemot a miroir blanc

100. Guillemot a ligne blanche

101. Fruit du Banquois, des iles Mariannes

102. Habitans des iles Marianes

103. Costumes des Malais de l'ile de Luzon

104. Fille des montagnes dans l'ile de Luzon

105. Volcan de Taal, dans l'ile de Luzon

106. Negres de la Cote d'or

107. Ile Ste. Helene

108. Carte des Iles Radak et Ralik

109. Plan du Groupe des Iles Rumanzoff

110. Carte du Grand Ocean

111. Back Cover

Publication Information

Publisher: Paris : Impr. de Firmin Didot



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ISBN-10: N/A

Date Added: 2019-04-06

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