21 November 2012
BOLIVAR, Simon (1783-1830). Letter signed ('Bolivar') TO ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT, Bogota, 10 November 1821, in Spanish, one page, 4to, annotation in French to lower margin (small hole where folds cross), tipped onto a mount. Provenance: Sotheby's, 23 November 1984, lot 270.
A RINGING TRIBUTE FROM THE LIBERATOR OF SOUTH AMERICA TO ITS SCIENTIFIC ILLUMINATOR. Bolivar writes a letter of recommendation for a certain Mr Bollman, and expresses his considerable affection and esteem for Humboldt, praising the contribution to America of this 'great man, who with his eyes has dragged it out of ignorance, and with his pen has painted it as beautiful as its own nature'; he goes on to laud Humboldt's character and qualities, the contemplation of which brings on a sense of vertigo reminiscent of the scientist's expeditions in Colombia:
'El Baron estara siempre con los dias de la America presentes en el corazon de los justos apreciadores de un grande hombre, que con sus ojos la ha arrancado de la ignorancia, y con su pluma la ha pintad tan bella como su propia naturaleza ... Yo por lo menos al contemplar cada uno de los Vestigios que recuerdan los pasos de Vmd. en Colombia, me siento arrebatado de las mas poderosas impreciones'.
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