(b Riesbach, Switzerland, Feb
1809; d Barbizon, Seine-et-Marne, 30 Oct 1893).
Swiss painter and graphic artist, active in the USA and France. His
earliest exposure to art probably came from his uncle, the landscape
painter and engraver Johann Jakob Meyer (1787–1858). When he was 22,
Bodmer moved to Paris, where he studied art under Sébastien Cornu.
In Paris he met his future patron, Prince Maximilian of
Wied-Neuwied, who was planning an ambitious scientific expedition to
North America. Bodmer was engaged to accompany the expedition and to
provide sketches of the American wilderness. After touring the East
Coast, the party made their way westward via the Ohio and
Mississippi rivers to St Louis, MO, and in 1833 travelled up the
Missouri River into country scarcely inhabited by white men. On the
journey north to Ft MacKenzie, WY, Bodmer recorded the landscape and
the groups of Indians they encountered. Having wintered in Ft Clark,
ND, they returned to New York and then Europe in 1834.
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