Gabriel Max


albumen print, 1894

rare large-format


Franz Hanfstaengl, after Gabriel Max

Pithecanthropus europaeus (Alalus)



rare large-format albumen print photograph, after Gabriel Max's painting of 1894 that was dedicated to Ernst Haeckel

21 1/4  x 15 1/8 in. 

mounted on card with printed title

card approx. 24 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.

publisher: Franz Hanfstaengl, Munich

period frame

frame 29 3/4 x 22 3/4 in.

typographic inscription in the lower margin of card: "G. MAX.  PITHECANTHROPUS ALALUS.  Copyright 1894 by Franz Hanfstaengl."

reproduced inscription lower right in original painting: "Pithecanthropus europaeus (Alalus)"

reproduced signature, dedication, and date lower left in original painting: "G. Max  gewidmet Ernst Häkel  16. Februar 1894" 

Gabriel von Max dedicated the painting Pithecanthropus europaeus (Alalus) to evolutionary biologist Ernst Haeckel and gifted it to him.  The painting is now in the collection of Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, where Haeckel was based.  In 1894, publisher Franz Hanfstaengl created an albumen print photograph of the painting.  Hanfstaengl was known for the high quality of his photographs and photogravures, and the Pithecanthropus photograph, in particular, was published widely and much discussed in the scientific literature.  This large-format version of the Pithecanthropus photograph is rare; we have never encountered another example.

Popularly known as “Java Man,” Pithecanthropus (a label first coined by Haeckel as a theoretical model) was the scientific name given to the hominid fossil remains discovered in 1891 in East Java, Indonesia, by Dutch palaeoanthropologist Eugéne Dubois.  It was one of the first known fossil remains of the species now called Homo erectus (the nomenclature Pithecanthropus is now rather archaic); “Peking Man” was the other early specimen.  At the time, Dubois and others argued that it was the missing link between apes and humans, a claim no longer made.  

General References:

Hans Marshall, "Gabriel Max.  Zu seinem 70. Geburtstag am 23. August," Reclams Universum Moderne illustrierte Wochenschrift (Leipzig: Verlag Philipp Reclam, 1910), 26. Jahrgang, Zweiter Halbband, pgs.1160-1167, discussing "Pithecanthropus" at pgs. 1165-1166.

detail 1:
detail 2:


Jack Daulton

The Daulton Collection

Los Altos Hills, California