View from the Peak of Otter Bedford County VA. No. 2
Richmond, Virginia: Edward Beyer, entered 1857 [but published 1858]. Tinted lithograph, 'Taken from Nature by Ed. Beyer', printed by W. Loeillot in Berlin. Image size (including text): 10 7/8 x 15 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 18 x 24 inches.
An exemplary print from one of the greatest American view books: `a major outstanding item' (Bennett)
Edward Beyer was a German artist who visited the United States in the early 1850's. He chose to concentrate his work on Virginia and Kentucky, spending three years in Virginia working on the original drawings for this book. Although the title notes that the copyright was registered by Beyer in the District of Virginia, the book was actually produced in Germany, with the plates being prepared in Dresden or Berlin. The superb tinted lithograph views were generally printed in black with, generally, two further colours.
'This Watering Place is located in Montgomery County, on the Eastern slope of the Alleghanies, near their summit, in the Southwestern part of the State... It has been built up within the last two years, and promises to be the most agreeable place in the mountains. It is of easy access, on a branch road running from the Virginia and Tennessee Road to the Springs, eight miles from Alleghany Springs, and five miles from the Yellow Sulphur Springs' ( Description of the Album of Virginia... Illustrated Richmond, 1857).
Deak writes of Beyer, "He was taken by the beauty of the Virginia landscape, particularly by the elegant settings of some of the region's watering places...Virginians responded warmly to Beyer's enterprise and often gave him advance access to architectural plans when these could be of help to him. There was probably no Virginia county that Beyer left unvisited in his zeal to present what is, in fact, an affectionate family album of an entire state." Deak praises Beyer's "delicate and precise style" and "characteristic refinement of proportion.".
Cf. Bennett p.10; cf. Deak Picturing America 721; cf. Howes B413 ("b"); cf. Sabin 5125.