#14 and #15 The mountain called Morro Fermozo at the border of the provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo
Latin translation by Ben Hennelly
We have exhibited here in two etchings a single picture that, on account of its size, we were forced to divide into equal halves. My dear friend, Thomas Ender, sketched it on location when he accompanied me from the city of Rio to the city of Sao Paulo. We thought that the picture deserved to be presented to our readers for several reasons. For it displays the true character of the mountain, which stands out for its height as well as for the boldness and beauty of its shapes; for this reason the Brazilians have bestowed upon it the name of "Beautiful Mountain".
Etching commentary #14
The road between the two cities mentioned is laid across a low-lying ridge of the beautiful mountain, which separates the provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in that region.Those traveling from Rio de Janeiro are captivated by the region's loveliness, especially because they have for several days previous passed in the shadows of towering forests along a road that bends often and leads through narrow winding valleys and small mountains, so that only a restricted prospect into the distance is offered. But the Morro Fermozo far overtops the nearby peaks (3000 ft) and, separated from neighboring mountains by a fairly broad distance, offers an unimpeded view to whoever follows the road across the mountain closest and arrives at its ridge. From here the admirer's eyes wander across a valley and peaks that are for the most part covered with forests.
We are affected in a wonderful way by such a sight, which lies open to view in the freedom of the mountains, especially when we have traveled through the shadows of dark groves for a number of days. The sky's clarity effects that even from afar, the delicate shapes of the mountain and individual trees are described, and a certain sweetness and sublime majesty seem diffused through the whole region, which only he can perceive who has wandered for a time through the lands of the tropics. The beasts themselves seem charmed by the holy tranquillity of the places; everything rests in a happy, as it were, freedom from care, so that the European man, who neither hears the blows of axes or hunter's cries, nor anywhere sees land cleft by the plow, cannot help but compare the sublime peacefulness of this nature with the hard servitude to which European soil is subjected by the shrewd crowd of men. But far more passionately will be moved the energetic explorer of nature, inasmuch as he not only is taken with the pleasant tranquillity of these regions, but also, excited by the varied, exceptional character of things and astonished at six hundred miracles, finds much that invites his spirit to pursue and search out the truth. But there were two things that moved me most as I gazed upon that region: namely, the frequency of Dendropterides or tree-like ferns, and that of shrubs consisting of tree-like grasses.These extraordinary ornaments of tropical vegetation are very well displayed for the kind reader in each of the two etchings. In Etching #14, which comprises the left half of the picture, some trunks of an exceedingly beautiful, tree-like fern, Alsophila paleolata, are depicted; the foreground of #15, which exhibits the right half, presents dense thickets of Guadua Tacoara.