Walpurgis Eve traditionally is the night when all kinds of supernatural beings hustle and bustle about, from Witches’ Sabbaths on “Walpurgisnacht” on the Brocken Mountain in Northern Germany, Valborgsmässoafton in Sweden, Valpuržina noc in Czechia or Vappu in Finland. We don’t know if it was a supernatural beauty that did it for centenarian Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck, but allegedly he died of a heart attack after ogling a pretty girl on the Champs-Élysées. A date and event befitting for a raconteur extraordinaire who had the habit of clothing truth in a more mysterious garb, from his own biography to publishing made-up vintage erotica and populating Mexico’s Pre-Columbian Maya relics with Phrygian caps, lions and elephants.
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Depicted below is one of Waldeck’s extraordinary engravings made after the Maya reliefs of Palenque, published in 1838 in his “Voyage pittoresque et archéologique dans la province d'Yucatan pendant les années 1834 et 1836“.
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