web Robert DEROME
Les sources iconographiques
des portraits fictifs du père jésuite Jacques Marquette

1895 Herman Atkins MacNeil

Le Marquette Building est un lieu tout à fait exceptionnel en ce qui concerne l'iconographie de Marquette. Heureusement, il a été sauvé de la démolition ! Hermon Atkins MacNeil est âgé de 29 ans lorsqu'il exécute ces quatre bas-relifs remarquables. Il y projette sa jeunesse dans la physionomie de Marquette et le dynamisme des scènes illustrées. Pour le voyage et le calumet, il est redevable à 1869 Lamprecht, mais il innove dans le traîneau et le cercueil.

« Architecture, likewise, has immortalized the name of Marquette. Over the doors of the main entrance of the Marquette Building on Adams and Dearborn streets, Chicago, are bronze reliefs, designed and executed by Mr. Herman A. McNeil, a faithful student of Indian characteristics, illustrating incidents in the life and of the death of Pere Marquette. Copies of these reliefs are frequently found in American history texts. In the first relief we see Marquette, Jolliet and their five companions launching their canoes on the headwaters of the Wisconsin river "to follow those waters .... which will henceforth lead us into strange lands."^^ In the second, Marquette and Jolliet meet the attack of the Indians on the Mississippi, when "in vain I showed the calumet .... to explain that we had not come as enemies."^' In the third, Marquette arrives at the Chicago river, and "passing two leagues up the river we resolved to winter there .... being detained by my illness. "^^ In the last we see the burial of Marquette at St. Ignace. "The De Profundis was intoned . . . the body was then carried to the church."!^ "A large space in the center of the building was sacrificed by the owners for the purpose of a memorial rotunda in honor of Marquette. With the help of artist, sculptor, architect and constructor they have succeeded in producing a monument worthy of the explorer. The most interesting features of the polygon rotunda are the panel decorations of glass mosaic and mother-of-pearl, on the face of the balcony, between the first and second floor. The glass mosaic work, from designs by Mr. J. A. Holzer, consists of three pictorial tablets, descriptive of leading events in the career of Marquette."^^ Copies of these mosaics are also found in American history texts. The first mosaic portrays the departure of Marquette and JoUiet from St. Ignace on their first voyage to the Illinois. On a small border on top of the mosaic is inscribed the sentence from Marquette's Journal, "Firmly resolved to do all and SUFFER ALL FOR SO GLORIOUS AN ENTERPRISE." « The second mosaic pictures the meeting with the Illinois, with the inscription, "They answered that they were Illinois AND IN TOKEN OF PEACE PRESENTED THE PIPE TO SMOKE."" The last commemorates the death of Marquette and this time the sentence is taken from Dablon's narrative, "To die as he HAD ALWAYS ASKED ... IN A WRETCHED CABIN AMID THE FOREST, DESTITUTE OF ALL HUMAN AID."^^ (Notes: Ralph Nursey, The Legacy of Pere Marquette, Marquette Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, p. 6, 8, 10, 12-16, 18, 27. » Arth 1931.04 (pdf p. 298-299).

« Herman A. McNeil's series of bronze reliefs, executed for the Marquette Building in Chicago, portray a tall, ascetical actor who is obviously playing a part. » Donnelly 1985, p. 13, avec la collaboration de Christian Carette.

« Four bronze panels were placed over the front doors, welcoming visitors to the Marquette Building. These exterior bronzes were meticulously restored in 2009. “Over the doors of the main entrance are panels of bronze, designed and executed by Mr. Herman A. MacNeil, illustrating incidents in the life of Pere Marquette in his explorations of the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois…The inscriptions below are panels taken from Marquette’s diary.” » Architectural Reviewer, July 1897

« In 1894, he [Hermon Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947)] received his first important commission: four bas-reliefs illustrating the life of Père Marquette for the Marquette Building in Chicago. » American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A catalogue ..., Volume 2

Google Images.


1895 Louis Comfort Tiffany et Jacob Adolphus Holzer

Ces magnifiques mosaïques, de Jacob Adolphus Holzer (1858–1938), illustrent Marquette à quatre différents âges de son évolution. Ce qui est tout à fait exceptionnel dans l'iconographie. Un récit condensé de sa vie, à travers ses études, le contact avec les Amérindiens via le calumet (représenté 4 fois), leur bénédiction avec ses cheveux blancs et l'unique illustration en tant que gisant. Jolliet occupe toutefois un rôle important : c'est lui qui parlemente avec les Amérindiens dans la scène du calumet ; c'est lui qui est au premier rang lorsque Marquette les bénit ; et c'est encore lui qui se penche au-dessus du gisant, même si historiquement il n'était plus là. L'iconographie unique créée pour ces mosaïques n'a pas été reprise par les autres artistes, hormis la houppe blanche du vieillard qui sera réutilisée par 1926 MacNeil et 1932 Hering.

Les photos proviennent des deux sources citées ci-dessous.

« Jyoti Srivastava (Blogger - Facebook), Marquette Building - mosaics, Public Art in Chicago. The Marquette building is named for Father Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit missionary and explorer who in 1674-75, wintered in the area that is now Chicago. One of the most outstanding features of the building is it's two-story hexagonal lobby. It has beautiful mosaic works interpreting moments in the life and death of Father Marquette. The stunning mosaics are the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany and J. A. Holzer. Holzer was chief designer for the Tiffany Glass and Decorating company. These mosaics are composed entirely of mother of pearl and Favrile glass. “In this memorial rotunda, which is considered the most artistic and interesting portions of the building, [are]...three pictorial tablets descriptive of the events in the life of Marquette. These glass mosaic panels are certainly works of high artistic value.. a glowing series of pictures never before attempted in glass mosaic (Architectural Reviewer, July 1897, from the MacArthur Foundation website).” »

Wendy Bright, Photographing the Marquette Building, July 8, 2013,
Out of Chicago, The Chicago Photography Experience.

It is one of those buildings that the unsuspecting photographer might pass right by, its unflashy brown façade giving no overt clues to its interior beauty and overall architectural significance. But the Marquette Building is a classic early Chicago skyscraper, rich with art that honors the city’s history.

It is now owned and occupied by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who recently restored the building to its original glory; the lobby is fully open to the public. The Foundation also opened a high-quality interactive exhibit on the first floor, which interprets the building’s history; it is free and open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

It was the year of both the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and a devastating national financial panic, but the Marquette Building nevertheless rose on the corner of Adams & Dearborn. Dearborn Street, with the world’s busiest train station at the intersection of Polk, became the most desirable location for office space, most of it in tall commercial buildings.

Completed in 1895, the Marquette Building was the work of architectural firm Holabird & Roche, one of the most prolific in Chicago. It was commissioned by the same team that had worked with Burnham & Root on the Rookery and Monadnock buildings: Shepherd and Peter, the Brooks brothers of Boston, with Owen Aldis as their local representative. Dynamo Aldis managed all aspects of planning and construction.

Aldis was also an amateur historian who had recently translated from French to English the journals of an important early Chicago figure: Jesuit priest and explorer, Jacques Marquette. Considered Chicago’s first European resident, Fr. Marquette had spent 1674-75 in the area, journaling his experiences. He had built a cabin near the South Branch of the Chicago River and had joined Louis Joliet’s expedition to explore the interior of the continent. They were the first to take note of Chicago as a site of exceptional potential.

It was likely Aldis’s idea to name the new skyscraper in celebration of Marquette and his discovery of the ‘New World.’ This theme would provide rich fodder for the artistic program of the new structure.

Chicago historian Tim Samuelson explains that architects Holabird & Roche were experts at giving expressive form to this brand new type of tall, commercial building …and the 16-story Marquette is one of their most successful. It is a quintessential example of what is known as the Chicago School: coherent, strong, dynamic, with good proportions.

The Chicago School describes a type of commercial architecture that developed in 1880s and 1890s and a group of architects who worked with many of the same concepts, methods, and materials. Chicago School buildings shared several marked characteristics. They were built quickly and less expensively thanks to the use of steel-frame construction. This frame became the skeleton upon which the exterior “skin” or “curtain wall” of the building could be hung: brick, terra cotta and large expanses of glass. The Marquette building is covered in dark brick and terra cotta, with Renaissance-inspired designs.

And often that steel frame was ‘expressed’ in that one is able to see the grid on the surface. This relatively spare grid was such a modern idea in an environment where heavy classical and European-style ornamentation was the usual way to articulate a building’s form. Architecture critic Blair Kamin praises the “regularized, bare-boned beauty” of the Marquette Building.

Chicago School buildings often feature ‘Chicago windows,’ which were designed to maximize light and air flow. They typically have three parts: a large fixed pane in the center (sometimes divided, as it is here), flanked by smaller double-hung sash windows. The Marquette Building’s first two floors have especially large windows, making the retail spaces more attractive from the outside, and the merchandise within better illuminated by natural light.

These late-nineteenth-century architects faced the challenge of deciding what this new building form should look like: tall commercial office buildings were entirely new in the world. One solution that the Chicago School – in particular, Louis Sullivan – had devised was a tripartite organization. The tall building’s façade was divided into three parts, much like a Greek or Roman column. The lower section is the base, which gives grounding and solidity; the middle section is the shaft drawing the viewer’s eye up, until it reaches the capital, the celebratory cornice. This made for a building that was more than just a decorated box: it was designed as one piece, it had integrity. The tripartite design is obvious here, but Holabird & Roche further celebrated the verticality of the skyscraper by the incorporation of uninterrupted piers and set back horizontal spandrels.

The exterior of the Marquette Building is not overtly dazzling and unless one knows the particulars of its design, it might be easy to miss. But this is a good place to begin shooting. Now that you understand its handsome Chicago bone structure, you’ll be amply inspired to capture it with your camera!

Voir aussi : Nelson 2007.


1895 Amy Aldis Bradley

« Amy Bradley was Owen Aldis’ [Marquette Building Manager] sister and a practicing artist. As no one is certain of what Father Marquette looked like, Bradley used an employee of her husband’s company as the model, depicting Marquette as handsome and rugged. Little else is known about Bradley’s art career, though some of her sketchbooks survive at Harvard University. » Source.

Portrait of Amy Aldis Bradley.
The Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Source.

Father Jacques Marquette, relief en bronze. Source.

« Over each elevator on the first and second floor are bronze portraits of Native Americans and explorers. These sculptures represent those “who were directly or indirectly connected with the discovery and exploration of the great Northwest and the Mississippi River and Valley.” Amy Aldis Bradley, Owen Aldis’ sister, sculpted the images of Marquette and Jolliet. Edward Kemeys sculpted the rest. According to Russell Tyson, a senior partner of Aldis and Company, “the model who posed for [Father Marquette] was a young man named Brainerd in Mr. Bradley’s office.” » Source.

Photo : source.


Photo : source.


1897 Walter R. Nursey

The legend and the legacy of Père Marquette a été publié par Nursey 1897,
ainsi que par Ralph D. Cleveland et J. H. A. Mirosky tel qu'indiqué sur cette page titre...

Photo : Nursey 1897 (page titre).

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 65 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

La publicité de l'auteur de cette publication commerciale, Walter R. Nursey, par et pour les locataires du Marquette Building ainsi que leurs clients, paraît en page 65 (image ci-dessus). Son nom paraît également en p. 31 Advertising, p. 47 Publishers Marquette Publishing Co, en p. 53 Writer of business litterature, ainsi qu'en page 79 (image ci-dessous) sous la raison sociale MacDonald & Nursey Publishers en tant qu'auteur d'un « guide officiel » profitant de la ruée vers l'or du Klondike (Alaska, Yukon et nord-ouest canadien). Nursey partage le même bureau, le 1749, que le photographe de cette publication commerciale, Ralph D. Cleveland, dont le nom paraît en p. 45 sous la rubrique Photographers et la publicité en page 79 (ci-dessous). L'ouvrage reproduit plusieurs photographies du Marquette Building, de ses oeuvres d'art, ainsi que la sculpture de Marquette par 1870-1879 Donaldson figurant au tout début de l'ouvrage, à la page 3. Dommage que les numérisations disponibles sur le web, toutes d'après une ancienne microfiche, soient de si mauvaise qualité !

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 79 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 31 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

Le nom du troisième auteur, J. H. A. Mirosky, paraît en page titre (plus haut), ainsi que sur la première page de la section intitulée The "Marquette Building" Directory (ci-dessus) sous la rubrique Art Publishers : Marquette Publishing Co, 1749 ; Mirosky, J. H. A., 1749. À remarquer que la Marquette Publishing Co est l'éditeur de cette brochure dont le nom paraît en page titre (ci-dessus), sur l'illustration de 1897 Rieman en page frontiscipe, ainsi qu'à la p. 47, Publishers, Marquette Publishing Co, 1749. Les trois auteurs de cet opuscule publicitaire partagent donc le même local 1749 alliant diverses professions et raisons sociales. Leurs locaux sont à proximité de ceux de l'artiste Charles Francis Brown au 1733-35.

Le nom de l'imprimeur, Marsh & Grant, paraît également en page titre (ci-dessus), ainsi que sur sa publicité en page 50 (ci-dessous).

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 50 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).


1897 Nursey1897 George A. Rieman

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page frontispice de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

L'aquarelle, intitulée The legacy of Père Marquette, préparée pour le frontispice de cette publication de 1897 Nursey, est signée « G. A. Rieman 97 », en bas à gauche.

« George A. Rieman, Designer, Illustrator & Originator, 213-214 Adams Express Bldg, Chicago, Designer of this cover » a fait paraître en page 65 de 1897 Nursey sa publicité, contiguë à celle de Nursey (voir plus haut ou cliquer sur l'image à droite). Sa signature paraît sous la tête d'enfant illustrée dans le journal lu par cette jeune femme assise.

Ni le Getty ULAN, ni le SIRIS, ni Artefacts Canada, ne donnent de référence au nom de G. A. Rieman pour cette période !

Cette signature ressemble à celle trouvée sur une autre aquarelle, datée de 1905, intitulée Oriental Woman.

G. A. Rieman, Oriental Woman, 1905, watercolor, signed and dated l.l., framed, H.- 14 in., W.- 7 in. Source.

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 65 de Nursey 1897
(Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

Marquette, jeune et imberbe avec d'abondants cheveux longs coiffés d'une calotte, se tient debout face à nous, les deux pieds bien ancrés au sol, un livre à sa main gauche devant un long chapelet au bout duquel une croix balance ; mais, son tronc, sa tête, sa main gauche levée et ouverte, sont tournés vers le groupe d'Amérindiens placés tout autour de lui en trois groupes : deux devant les tipis à gauche au loin, un large groupe au centre, puis deux autres, en avant plan, nous tournant le dos. Son message n'est pas celui d'un explorateur, mais d'un prédicateur religieux attentionné et écouté.

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page frontispice (détail) de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

Le regard de Marquette porte cependant plus haut et au loin. À travers un nuage d'anachronisme magique de 224 ans d'écart, entre son passage en 1673 et l'édition de cet opuscule en 1897, il voit naître le Marquette Building émergeant du brouillard.

Ce frontispice résume donc le contenu et l'objectif de ce petit livre qui a été édité afin de promouvoir cet édifice commercial dont la construction s'est teminée deux ans plus tôt, en 1895.

« The Marquette Building was highly personalized — from tenants to top floors. Owen Aldis knew that the Marquette Building had to stand out from other office buildings. As a marketing tool, he created The Legacy of Pere Marquette. This booklet was an academic examination of Marquette and Jolliet’s journey and the region’s early history. When published in 1897, the tenant list ranged from accountants and auditors to U.S. lighthouse inspectors. And who wouldn’t have wanted a home in the Marquette Building? One of the first tenants secured, Grommes & Ulrich Wine Merchants immediately leased the building’s basement space. There was a citywide basement shortage due to different types of foundations. Grommes & Ulrich installed a large refrigerator plant in the lowest level to house their “immense stock of costly wines.” » Source.

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page frontispice (détail) de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).


1897 Nursey1897 Grommes & Ullrich's Marquette Pure Rye

Grommes & Ullrich était un important locataire du Marquette Building (voir ci-dessus 1897 Rieman), ce qui explique le fait de retrouver dans Nursey 1897 cette illustration publicitaire d'un spiritueux nommé en l'honneur de Marquette...

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 66 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

...qui, ainsi que Jolliet, y sont représentés comme des Puritains (voir 1895 Mills) dans une réinterpréation de cette illustration de 1881 Bayard.

La publicité visuelle, l'illustration Marquette Pure Rye ci-dessus, paraît en page 66 de Nursey 1897 suivie, en page 67, de cette publicité écrite...

Collaboration de Laura L. Pratt : numérisation de la page 67 de Nursey 1897 (Adelmann Regional History Center, Lewis University Library).

Grommes & Ullrich Building on LaSalle Street from Court House Square (détail). Pour voir l'image complète cliquer dessus. Photo : source.



web Robert DEROME