|Born||27 February 1799|
|Died||27 September 1854 55) (aged|
|Occupation||Artist and Architect|
Frederick Catherwood (27 February 1799 – 27 September 1854) was an English artist, architect and explorer, best remembered for his meticulously detailed drawings of the ruins of the Maya civilization. He explored Mesoamerica in the mid 19th century with writer John Lloyd Stephens. Their books, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán and Incidents of Travel in Yucatán, were best sellers and introduced to the Western world the civilization of the ancient Maya. In 1837, Catherwood was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary member.
Catherwood, having made many trips to the Mediterranean between 1824 and 1832to draw the monuments made by the Egyptians, Carthaginians, and Phoenicians, stated that the monuments in the Americas bear no architectural similarity to those in the Old World. Thus, they must have been made by the native people of the area. Catherwood made visits to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Palestine and with Joseph Bonomi the Younger made drawings and watercolors of the ancient remains there. During a six-week period in 1833, Catherwood was probably the first Westerner to make a detailed survey of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Catherwood developed a sizeable reputation as a topographical artist. He perfected a drawing technique which used the camera lucidaand supplied the drawings for the panoramas of Jerusalem and Thebes shown by Robert Burford in Leicester Square.
In 1836 he met travel writer John Lloyd Stephens in London. They read the account of the ruins of Copán published by Juan Galindo, and decided to try to visit Central America for themselves and produce a more detailed and better illustrated account. The expedition came together in 1839 and continued through the following year, visiting dozens of ruins and resulting in the detailed description of 44 sites, many for the first time.Stephens and Catherwood are credited for the rediscovery of the Maya civilization, and through their publications brought the Maya back into the minds of the Western World.
The expedition resulted in the book Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan , published in 1841, with text by Stephens and engravings based on the drawings of Catherwood.
Stephens and Catherwood returned to Yucatan to make further explorations, resulting in Incidents of Travel in Yucatan in 1843.
The following year Catherwood published Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, with 25 colour lithographs from watercolours he made at various ruins. This folio was published in May 1844 simultaneously in London and New York in an edition of 300. Some 282 copies are known to survive, mostly held in private collections or libraries.
A large number of his original drawings and paintings were destroyed when the building where he was exhibiting them in New York City caught fire, but a number survive in museums and private collections, often showing more detail than the published engravings.
With the California Gold Rush Catherwood moved to San Francisco, California to open up a store to supply miners and prospectors, which he considered a more likely way to make money than chasing after the gold himself.
In 1854, Frederick Catherwood was a passenger aboard the steamship Arctic , making a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool to New York. On 27 Septemberin conditions of poor visibility, the Arctic collided with the French steamer Vesta, and sank with much loss of life, including Catherwood. Mysteriously Catherwood's name was left off the official casualty lists for weeks until a concerted effort by his friends and colleagues resulted in a belated inclusion of a single line in the New York Herald Tribune , under the listing of "The Saved and the Lost: Mr Catherwood Also is Missing". He was 55 years old.
Traditionally, it is thought that the only portrait of Catherwood is in the famous Table XXIV of Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, with a view of the temple of Tulum. The scholar Fabio Bourbon, after studies and a long reflection, has formulated a different hypothesis. It is well known that during the second expedition in Central America, Stephens and Catherwood were accompanied by a young surgeon (and ornithologist) from Boston, Samuel Cabot III, born in Boston on September 20, 1815. The Cabot family was part of the upper class in Boston. At the time of the trip, he was almost 27 years old. Years later he would become an eminent surgeon and a well known personality in Boston. Samuel III was described as a person rather slender, tall, with light hair and light eyes. There is an image taken by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) with members of the Boston Society for Medical Improvement, around 1853. Samuel is seated, third from left. Eleven years had passed since the adventure in Yucatan, but he could very well be the person depicted by Catherwood in the table, holding a measuring tape. Catherwood, in fact, was a pragmatic man, used to documenting the reality with his pencil. Frederick presumably had no interest in representing himself, indeed he never painted his self-portrait.
Until 1833 the Dome of the Rock had not been measured or drawn; according to Victor von Hagen, "no architect had ever sketched its architecture, no antiquarian had traced its interior design…" On 13 November in that year, however, Frederick Catherwood dressed up as an Egyptian officer and accompanied by an Egyptian servant "of great courage and assurance", and entered the buildings of the mosque with his drawing materials … "During six weeks, I continued to investigate every part of the mosque and its precincts." Thus, Catherwood made the first complete survey of the Dome of the Rock, and paved the way for many other artists in subsequent years, such as William Harvey, Ernest Richmond, and Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner.
John Lloyd Stephens was an American explorer, writer, and diplomat. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America and in the planning of the Panama railroad.
Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period located in present-day Mexico. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture, along with Palenque, Chichén, and Calakmul in Mexico, Caracol and Xunantunich in Belize, and Tikal in Guatemala. It is located in the Puuc region of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, and is considered one of the Maya cities most representative of the region's dominant architectural style. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance.
Izamal is a small city in the Mexican state of Yucatán, 72 kilometres (45 mi) east of state capital Mérida, in southern Mexico.
Coba is an ancient Mayan city on the Yucatán Peninsula, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The site is the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world, and it contains many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period of Mesoamerican civilization. The adjacent modern village bearing the same name, reported a population of 1,278 inhabitants in the 2010 Mexican federal census.
Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck was a French antiquarian, cartographer, artist and explorer. He was a man of talent and accomplishment, but his love of self-promotion and refusal to let the truth get in the way of a good story leave some aspects of his life in mystery.
Tulum is the site of a pre-Columbian Mayan walled city which served as a major port for Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The ruins are situated on 12-meter (39 ft) tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya; it was at its height between the 13th and 15th centuries and managed to survive about 70 years after the Spanish began occupying Mexico. Old World diseases brought by the Spanish settlers appear to have resulted in very high fatalities, disrupting the society, and eventually causing the city to be abandoned. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.
The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northeastern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. It is approximately 181,000 km2 (70,000 sq mi) in area, and is almost entirely composed of limestone.
Augustus Henry Julian Le Plongeon was a British-American archeologist and photographer who studied the pre-Columbian ruins of America, particularly those of the Maya civilization on the northern Yucatán Peninsula. While his writings contain many notions that were not well received by his contemporaries and were later disproven, Le Plongeon left a lasting legacy in his photographs documenting the ancient ruins. He was one of the earliest proponents of Mayanism.
Victor Wolfgang von Hagen was an American explorer author, archaeological historian, naturalist and anthropologist who traveled in South America with his wife. Mainly between 1940 and 1965, he published a large number of widely acclaimed books about the ancient people of the Inca, Maya, and Aztecs.
1841 in archaeology
1844 in archaeology
Los Amates is a municipality in the Izabal department of Guatemala. The population is about 61,000. The mayor is currently Marco Tulio Ramirez Estrada. Los Amates is located on the Motagua River, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Quiriguá.
Xelha is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, located on the eastern coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the present-day state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The etymology of the site's name comes from Yukatek Maya, combining the roots xel ("spring") and ha' ("water").
The Pyramid of the Magician is a Mesoamerican step pyramid located in the ancient Pre-Columbian city of Uxmal, Mexico. It is also referred to as the Pyramid of the Dwarf, Casa el Adivino, and the Pyramid of the Soothsayer. The pyramid is the tallest and most recognizable structure in Uxmal.
The Mayan Revival is a modern architectural style, primarily of the 1920s and 1930s in the Americas, that drew inspiration from the architecture and iconography of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures.
Robert Stacy-Judd (1884–1975) was an English architect and author who designed theaters, hotels, and other commercial buildings in the Mayan Revival architecture Style in Great Britain and the United States. Stacy-Judd's synthesis of the style used Maya architecture, Aztec architecture, and Art Deco precedents as his influences.
Emanuel von Friedrichsthal was an Austrian traveler, daguerreotypist, botanist, and amateur archaeologist, who traveled through the Balkans and in Central America and documented his findings.
Benjamin Moore Norman was an American book dealer and writer who benefited from the success of John Lloyd Stephens's book, Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatán. He was a beneficiary of a public offer by the author to return to the Maya region and further his studies. He initiated, on his own and anticipating Stephens, a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula and wrote about it.
Tulum Stela 1 is the name of a Mayan engraved monolith that was found at the ancient Mesoamerican site of Tulum in Mexico. Known for its important inscription, the stela was purchased by the British Museum in 1924.
The history of Maya civilization is divided into three principal periods: the Preclassic, Classic and Postclassic periods; these were preceded by the Archaic Period, which saw the first settled villages and early developments in agriculture. Modern scholars regard these periods as arbitrary divisions of chronology of the Maya civilization, rather than indicative of cultural evolution or decadence. Definitions of the start and end dates of period spans can vary by as much as a century, depending on the author. The Preclassic lasted from approximately 3000 BC to approximately 700 AD; this was followed by the Classic, from 700 AD to roughly 950 AD, then by the Postclassic, from 950 AD to the middle of the 16th century. Each period is further subdivided:
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