"Jeune Lion Marin de la Californie" Rare 1822 Lithograph by Louis Choris For Sale
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"Jeune Lion Marin de la Californie" Rare 1822 Lithograph by Louis Choris


Two hundred years ago, Louis Choris, a young French-Russian artist of German origin, accompanied an 1815-1818 expedition to the Pacific, South America, California, Alaska, Hawaii and many other then-mysterious places, recording a precious visual record of what the explorers encountered, from splendidly-dressed native peoples to exotic (for European eyes) species of animals. Choris' paintings became in 1822 the basis for a landmark collection of hand-colored lithographs, “Voyage Pittoresque Autour du Monde”, published in Paris by Firmin Didot, the legendary French printer and designer of typefaces. With the simple description, Les rochers dans le voisinage de la baie San-Francisco sont ordnairement couverts de lions marines (The rocks in the vicinity of San Francisco Bay are ordinarily covered with marine lions), Choris made the first mention by an explorer of that much beloved creature, the sea lion, to accompany this lithograph -- which was also the first depiction (by a non-indigenous artist) of a California sea lion. This image, like the others in the series, was painstakingly prepared as a lithograph by Choris, printed in a very limited edition, and then hand-colored under the direct supervision of the artist. Of obvious historical importance, this rare lithograph is also a charming portrait of an extremely appealing animal native to California. The artwork itself measures 16.5 inches x 10 inches. (The museum-quality frame that contains it is larger.) This work was orignally in the famous 15,000-piece art collection of the Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO), curated by no less a figure than the great Bauhaus-educated modernist, Herbert Bayer. The far-ranging collection was for many years used to adorn the walls of executive offices and conference rooms at ARCO's Los Angeles headquarters, and in corporate branch offices worldwide. After ARCO was acquired by BP in 2000, the entire art collection was sold at auction, which is when I acquired this work. I am only now (with some reluctance) offering it for sale. Provenance: The Collection of the Atlantic-Richfield Corporation, Herbert Bayer, Curator.  


  • Creator
    Louis Choris (Artist)
  • Production Time
    Available Now
  • Of the Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Condition Details
    Some foxing and small spot stains, as most paper from this period displays.
  • Dimensions
    H 10 in. x W 16.5 in. x D 0.01 in.H 25.4 cm x W 41.91 cm x D 0.26 mm
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Los Angeles, CA
20th Century Specialists
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