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Title Journal de notes no. 1 [manuscript]: relevées des différens ouvrages que j’ai le temps de lire entre mes autres occupations. par renvoy de numéro
Author Waldeck, Frédéric de (1766-1875)
Document Type Manuscript
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Waldeck’s notebook for his never-realized project the Encyclopédie archéologique, compiled between 1860 and 1866, after he had returned to Paris, contains notes and reflections on the history and culture of the Indians of Mexico, with particular emphasis on the Mayan civilization of Palenque. Many of Waldeck’s notes deal with the possibility of Chinese and Japanese influences on the development of Indian writing and sculpture in Mexico. He also discusses the construction, measurements, and meaning of the pyramids at Teotihuacán, Xochicalco, Palenque, and Cholula. Other frequently-mentioned subjects deal with symbols such as the quetzal bird in art and sculpture; the significance of the Indian gods; architectural descriptions of ruins throughout the Yucatán; the migration of Asiatic peoples to the Yucatán; and the physionomy of the Indians. Waldeck includes his reactions to two London newspaper articles of 1866, excerpts of which he has copied into his notebook; and throughout, jots down comments on his readings of authors such as Stephens, Winkelman, von Humboldt, and de Landa, with a special critique of Abbé Brasseur’s Histoire des nations civilisées. Finally, in a note from April 1864, Waldeck sees his published works--the 1838 Voyage pittoresque and Monuments anciens du Mexique, his Palenque drawings which were eventually published in 1866--as important studies of a little-known area of history; and discusses plans for a third work.
Names Stephens, John Lloyd (1805-1852); Humboldt, Alexander von (1769-1859); Winkelman; de Landa; Brasseur, Abbé
Places Teotihuacán, Xochicalco, Palenque, Cholula, Palenque, Yucatán, Mexico; Paris, France
Keywords art, travel, discovery, expedition, exploration, Mexican, observation, ethnography, mythology, folklore, religion, history, custom, culture, language, migrant, newspaper
Theme Indigenous Peoples of Mexico; Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Mesoamerica
Language French
Additional Information French traveller, painter, engraver, and Americanist. Waldeck, of German or Austrian origin, may have been born in Prague, Paris, or Vienna, in 1766. He travelled to Mexico in 1825 to work for a silver mining company, and later lived in Mexico City where he gave classes in painting and drawing. Throughout his travels in Mexico, he made drawings of the Indian antiquities and ruins, especially in Palenque and Uxmal between 1832 and 1835, and in 1837 after his return to Paris, where he spent the last 40 years of his life.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 1267
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue