Travelers arrive at Montanvert by mule and on foot with the Temple of Nature in the foreground while the undulating waves of the Mer de Glace fill the valley. Samuel Birmann visited Chamonix in 1823 and 1824, and published a book of plates in 1826. This view also approximates the level of the ice and conditions of the valley encountered by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley during their journey in the Alps in 1816. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), the daemon confronted Dr. Frankenstein on the Mer de Glace and told his mournful life story to his creator in the Temple of Nature.
Source: S. Birmann, "Mer de Glace vue du Montanvert" from Mont Blanc et la Vallée de Chamonix, Basle, [n.d.], hand-colored aquatint, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection; http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/3157417
Mont Blanc, Montanvert, Temple of Nature, Birmann, Shelley, Frankenstein