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Karl Bodmer
11⅝ " wide / 16½" high
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Mató-Tópe (“Four Bears”), Mandan Chief. A Perfect Recreation™ of the original watercolor and pencil on paper. By Karl Bodmer, 1834. 11⅝” x 16½”

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We regard Karl Bodmer’s 1832 – 1834 original watercolors of the American Indian to be the most important, beautiful and compelling images of the Plains Indians. We are proud to offer the exclusive, first-ever archival reproductions of his original watercolors.

At the beginning of his American journey, Karl Bodmer was a 23-year old Swiss artist who could not have imagined the new world he found himself exploring. With a heightened sense of awareness, an extraordinary eye for detail and a great gift for rendering on paper everything he saw – Bodmer gave us powerful portraits of the indigenous American nobility.

Mató-Tópe (“Four Bears”), a Mandan chief, was one of the best known Indian personages of the early nineteenth century. In this portrait, Mató-Tópe poses in elaborate regalia indicating his elevated status. The long overshirt is made from bighorn leather; it is trimmed with ermine tails and decorated with spectacular bead- and quill-work. Figures symbolizing brave deeds and accomplishments are painted on the shoulders; red spatter marks on the shirt’s front represent old wounds suffered in warfare.

Watch the VIDEO: Mató-Tópe, 19th Century Celebrity

"Real Bodmers aren't for sale, but stunning re-creations are." The Omaha World-Herald praised our "high-resolution, painstakingly detailed reproductions of eight of Bodmer's most famous watercolors". Read the complete article

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