|In the jungles of Copán
we still find ancient Maya ruins overcome by nature and long forgotten.
Stephens and Catherwood rediscovered this abandoned city and documented
their experiences. Since Catherwood worked under a time limit documenting
these new discoveries, he did various sketches and watercolors using
a camera lucida (similar to a magnifying glass), which helped him
draw the intricate designs he saw on Maya buildings and sculpture.
Catherwood first sketched everything, and then sent the sketches
to London to be published for Incidents of Travel. Six years later,
after the success of the book, he decided to make a set of twenty
five prints from his expedition by reworking his previous sketches
and drawing new compositions from memory. For instance this print
shows a collection of sculpture found nearby, but not originally
located in front of the pyramid (these individual sculptures can
be found as etchings in Incidents of Travel).
Catherwood, along with six of the best printers in London, used
lithography to create his editions. Lithography, a relatively
new technology at this time, allowed for the creation of large
editions. Most lithographs are created by an artist drawing directly
onto a block of limestone. The stone is inked in sepia after each
impression. Catherwood then hand-painted fifty sets with the colors
seen in each print. Catherwood printed an edition of 300 copies
of each plate. This gives evidence that his work was very popular,
providing him with enough financial support to complete his whole
series. [Spanish version].