25 September 2003
César Hipólito BACLE (1794-1838, lithographer)
[Trages y costumbres de la Provincia de Buenos-Aires N.p. but
Buenos Aires: no date but circa 1833-1835]. 6 parts (only?) in one volume, 4° (310 x 232mm.). 36 handcoloured lithographic plates by Bacle y Ca. (6) or C.H. Bacle (30), six after H. Moulin. (Outer margins dampstained and neatly repaired on verso throughout, six plates with loss to outer margins affecting titles, one plate with repaired 80mm. tear affecting image area, a second with small section of lower outer blank corner torn away.) 19th-century black morocco-backed cloth, blocked in blind, spine lettered in gilt.
VERY RARE set of these amusing images by the father of lithography in Argentina. Swiss-born Bacle arrived in Buenos Aires in November 1828 with his wife Adrienne (1796-1855). Lithographs had been produced in Buenos Aires as early as 1824, but Bacle quickly established what was the first artistically important and commercially successful lithographic establishment.
The Trages y Costumbres is arguably Bacle's most important work and has been favourably compared with the work of Emeric Vidal, Carlos Pellegrini, Adolphe d'Hastrel and Leon Palliere. The subjects are a charming mixture of images of street life, costume and caricature. They were published by Bacle in six parts each containing six plates - a seventh part was announced but apparently never published (although there is a record of a copy containing 42 plates having sold at auction). In the present volume the first part includes the imprint 'Bacle y Ca.' but no artist (although Arthur Onslow is noted in some references as being responsible). The second part is printed by 'C.H. Bacle' after 'H.Moulin'. The remaining parts are all by 'C.H. Bacle' but with no mention of an original artist. Parts 1-4 and 6 are all captioned 'Trages y Costumbres de Buenos Aires', part 5 is the exception and is titled 'Extravagancias de 1834'. Hiler p.850; cf.
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