The Lost Panoramas of the Mississippi

By John Francis McDermott | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
JOHN ROWSON SMITH'S Four Mile Painting

The tremendous popularity and financial success of Banvard were certain to call forth competition. In the London edition of the pamphlet, Banvard, or the Adventures of an Artist, the announcement was made that "the public should be on their guard against several spurious copies and incorrect imitations which have been hurriedly prepared by parties of unprincipled persons, who are now [ 1849] endeavoring to palm them off as being original in various parts of the country; thus robbing Mr. Banvard of the fruits of his years of toil and danger." Banvard had been cautious enough to get Abbott Lawrence, the American minister in London, to certify that he was the sole author of the moving panorama of the Mississippi, and the following year in Paris he received and published the indorsement of the American minister to France, who declared the enterprising painter to be the originator of the idea. It is probable that attempts were soon made to pirate "The Largest Picture ever executed by

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