Landscape on the Mer de Glace above the Chamonix Valley, France, featuring a rock raised into a table formation as sunlight melted surrounding glacier ice. With a human figure standing underneath the rock, for scale. In the foreground (and presumably the artist’s), a theodolite and case; with a pack and a walking stick and cloak.
Plate 1, frontispiece to the book Travels through the Alps of Savoy and other parts of the Pennine chain, by James David Forbes, (Adam and Charles Black, Edinburgh, 1843).
Inscribed above: ‘Pl. 1’. Inscribed below: ‘Drawn from Nature by Professor Forbes. L. Haghe lith. Day & Haghe Lithrs. to the Queen. GLACIER TABLE, ON THE MER DE GLACE.’
The accompanying text (p.25) states: ‘Almost every stone, however, rests on ice…not is this all. Some block of greater size than its neighbours, covering a considerable surface of the ice, becomes detached from them, and seems shot up upon an icy pedestal, in the way represented in the Frontispiece, from a real and very striking example which occurred in 1842 on the Mer de glace of Chamonix’.
James David Forbes (1809-1868) British physicist and geologist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1832.