Alexandre Damien Manceau’s Travellers Meeting Minatarre Indians near Fort Clark

Meet the Artists of Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

A painting with many figures talking.

After Karl Bodmer, Alexandre Damien Manceau, engraver, Travellers Meeting Minatarre Indians near Fort Clark, 1842, hand-colored aquatint, plate mark: 11 15/16 x 13 1/2 in., image: 7 3/4 x 11 5/8 in., Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, Gift of the Enron Art Foundation, 1986.49.542.74, Photograph © Bruce M. White, 2019.

About this Artwork

Prince Maximilian knew and admired Humboldt. He intended his trip to the United States to help compensate for Humboldt’s unfulfilled desire to return to the North American continent. As a trained ethnographer, Price Max made some of the most astute and detailed accounts of the Native communities he encountered. His notes on North American natural history and native customs and artist Karl Bodmer’s watercolors became the basis of a book illustrating their travels.

The American Fur Company built Fort Clark in modern North Dakota, just south of the Mandan village. It served as a trading post for numerous native communities and the international fur trade along the Missouri River. Prince Maximilian in his green coat and Karl Bodmer in his tall hat extend greetings to the Minnetaree people. A painted pony occupies the center of the composition, its posture receptive to the European visitors.