Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved
Courtesy of a private collector | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Mendoza – head on a stick


8 January 1849



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From the Collection


"Starting from Retamo at six o’clock, I hardly arrived at Mendoza before eleven. As we advanced, we obtained fine views of the Andes, particularly from one place, six leagues from Mendoza, where the head of a murderer is stuck on the top of a high pole. It was tolerably fresh and appeared to be grinning at us in a ghastly way".
This is a page from a unique leather-bound volume of Robert Elwes’ travelogue 'A Sketcher's Tour Round the World', first published 1854, (see page 140 for corresponding passage).
The book contains the printed text of the manuscript but remarkably, the monochrome wash illustrations are hand painted by Elwes. The book bears a handwritten inscription ‘Mary F Elwes from her affect. husband Robert Elwes Jan 25 1878’, dated after Robert Elwes became ill at Congham, his Norfolk home. On 28th January 1878 , their youngest daughter Violet noted in her diary: “Papa much worse”. Less than three months later, Robert Elwes died on 17th April aged 58.

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Courtesy of a private collector

From the Watercolour World


Mendoza, Argentina