Selected examples by historic California artists


Fernand Lungren (1859‑1932)

Untitled (Bastions of the Painted Desert), teens?


Oil on canvas, 20 x 40 in.


Some of the most technically talented easel artists were those who honed their talents as illustrators where the demands of a publisher and public forced them to render architecture, humans, and landscape accurately and sometimes with a particular style.  Lungren worked as an illustrator in both New York City and later, Cincinnati, Ohio, making images for major magazines such as Scribner’s, Harper’s and Century.  But, like many illustrators, he aspired to paint “fine art.”  He was introduced to American Western subject matter, for which he later became known, by Cincinnati artist friends.  His first trip west came in 1892 when he was hired by the Santa Fe Railroad to sketch scenes along its route to California.  In 1903 he moved to Los Angeles and in 1907 settled in Santa Barbara.  From there he made many burro and wagon trips into California’s eastern deserts, depicting their stark sands and buttes and vast spaces.  Not much is know about Untitled – neither the source landscape or the date.  Lungren gives the flat landscape dynamics by tilting the horizon, emphasizing the variously-colored sedimentary zones on the bluffs, and creates a sense of vastness with the extended sagebrush plains and the almost cloudless sky

Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, NY; Peregrine Galleries, Santa Barbara; Butterfield and Butterfield auction, LA  February 15, 1989, no. 2275; exhibitions and publications: exhibited, 75 Works 75 Years Collecting the Art of California, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, Ca. April 2 – July 11, 1993, and reproduced in the catalogue in color p. 23.

 HOME  |  PUBLICATIONS  |  LINKS TO WEBSITES  |  INDEX TO PSCA vol. 1-12 © copyright 2007 Dustin Publications.