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Etching 17 Prospect from Serra de Tagoahy from Martius's Flora Brasiliensis 1840. Thanks to Lehigh U., Special Collections ! Color by Alberto Chor

#17 Prospect from the peak of the mountain Serra de Tagoahy towards the east, in the province of Rio de Janeiro

Latin translation by Ben Hennelly

The first mountain that must be crossed by travelers passing from the province of Rio de Janeiro to the province of Sao Paulo is "Serra de Tagoahy", a steep ridge made up of foliaceous granite and covered almost entirely, from roots to summit, with thick, ancient forest. Thomas Ender drew the picture we have set before you, with the skill for which he is distinguished, from the spot where the steeply twisting road winds into the forest, so that the view toward the plain lying to the east is lost. 

It is regrettable that we cannot render the brilliant magnificence of the Cordia glabra, unknown artist. Thanks to www.geocities.comcolors that light up, as it were, the plain there, which is bounded by a not so large mountain (NW of the city of Rio de Janeiro) and covered above by a crystalline sky; still, from the picture the viewer can perceive the manner in which the field vegetation there is broken up by shrubs and woods of lower sorts. For they are by no means those solitary, island-like groves that we depicted in etchings #2 and #5 and described by the name "Capoes". That singular form of vegetation is observed only where the field vegetation of the"Campo geral"also lives in its own right. Just as the fields found in this part of the land appear only in small spaces between woods, and do not display the character of some peculiar formation of plants over a broad expanse, so the sparse shrubs in them and tree groupings pretend, as it were, to form little woods mixed in among the fields. They often present themselves in the shape of hedges conjoined by individual trees. You could say that here live those bushes and trees that love the sun and have daily need of its omnipotent warmth from many directions. Among the plants that I came upon most frequently in these places, I mention Noisettia pyrifoliaGlossarhena floribundaSecuridaea acuminota, Securidaea divaricata, Cordia glabra, Cordia hermanniaefolia, Cordia floribunda, Vanillosma pyrifolium, Vanillosma acuminatum, Schmidelia edulis and Schmidelia levis, Serjania guarumima, Serjania elegansPaullinia thalictrifoliaAnthodon paniculatum.There are only a few things that could be added to these notes for the purpose of explicating the etching. I will mention that a noble Marantae is depicted in front to the left, and in the middle a tall Cocos botryophora, which here and there in these groves raises its crown of foliage.

Etching commentary #17