Catalogue - Non-Book Items (Prints & Maps)

The Victoria Falls, Zambesi River
Sketched on the Spot
By Thomas Baines, FRGS, 1865

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Portifolio contains 8 prints (7 landscape, 1 portrait). Overall size 39,5 x 50 cm (trimmed). Picture area : 28 x 41 cm.

Of all the works produced by these publishers, none has matched the sustained popularity enjoyed by these particular reproductions of paintings of the Victoria Falls completed by Thomas Baines on his journey there in 1862 in company with James Chapman. He was the first artist to look upon and portray their grandeur, and the striking beauty of his canvases has not since been equalled.

Thomas Baines painted the first and still the finest pictures of the Victoria Falls. These were published in 1865 as a book which included 11 chromolithographs and 8 pages of descriptive text by the artist.

In company with James Chapman, Baines journeyed from Cape Town to Walvis Bay by sea, and by ox-wagon across the waterless desert, via Lake Ngami, taking l6 months to reach the Zambezi - on 23rd July, 1862. He spent 12 days sketching the world's greatest river wonder and completed most of his canvases by the roadside on his return. These magnificent paintings gave the outside world their first pictorial impression of Darkest Africa's great scenic secret.

Thomas Baines was born at King's Lynn in l820. He was one of the most prolific painters of the last century. Over 400 of his oils, and as many water-colours and pencil sketches, are known to exist. He was equally well known as an explorer, cartographer, diarist and scientific observer of fauna and flora. He was a member of David Livingstone's Zambezi Expedition from 1857 to 1859. Except for his exploration of Northern Australia (1855-57) and trips to England, he spent all his adult life in southern Africa.

Below are some samples (apologies - distortion due to angle of camera) :-


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