Photo Friday: Edward Theodore Compton’s Artwork

Edward Theodore Compton, usually referred to as E.T. Compton, was a German painter, illustrator and mountain climber who lived from 1849-1921. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of alpine scenery, many of which also contain glaciers. 

Born in London, Compton’s family moved to Darmstadt, Germany, in 1867, for him to continue his education. He was also a skilled mountaineer, making 300 major ascents during his lifetime, mostly within Europe. For example, he made the first documented ascents of 27 mountains, including Torre di Brenta in the Italian Alps and Grossglockner in Austria, which he climbed at the age of 70!

Apart from oil and watercolor paintings, Compton also produced numerous illustrations of alpine scenery. Many of his works help to document the days of early alpinism, showing what mountains and glaciers looked like in the past.
 

Saleina Glacier on the northeastern edge of Mont Blanc, 1906 (Source: Creative Commons).
‘Saleina Glacier,’ 1906, on the northeastern edge of Mont Blanc Massif (Source: Creative Commons).
The Matterhorn and its glacier (Source: Fredou / Creative Commons).
‘Matterhorn,’ 1879 (Source: Creative Commons).
'Altschmecks in the High Tatras', 1890, a town in the High Tatras Mountain range on the border of northern Slovakia (Source: Creative Commons).
‘Altschmecks in the High Tatras,’ 1890, a town in the High Tatras Mountain range on the border of northern Slovakia (Source: Creative Commons).
An illustration entitled Erzherzog-Johann Hut from the Hoffmanskees, with Grossglockner in the background (Source: Creative Commons).
‘Erzherzog-Johann Hut from the Hoffmanskees,’ 1899, with Grossglockner in the background (Source: Creative Commons).
An illustration of two glaciers within the French Alps: 'Grand Motte and Grand Casse from above Tignes', 1896 (Source: Creative Commons).
An illustration of two glaciers in the French Alps: ‘Grand Motte and Grand Casse from above Tignes,’ 1896 (Source: Creative Commons).
'Knorrhütte in the Weatherstone Mountains', 1890, a hut belonging to the German Alpine Association located at 2052m altitude in the Eastern Alps (Source: Creative Commons).
‘Knorrhütte in the Weatherstone Mountains,’ 1890, a hut belonging to the German Alpine Association located at 2052m altitude in the Eastern Alps (Source: Creative Commons).

A portrait of Compton using a crayon to create an illustration (Source: Creative Commons)
A portrait of Compton using a crayon to create an illustration (Source: Creative Commons).
You can check out more of Compton’s paintings and illustrations, or take a look at other glacier artwork here.

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