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American Paintings — C.T. Mitchell - A View of Mount Shasta and Black Butte, Northern California



C.T. Mitchell  - A View of Mount Shasta and Black Butte, Northern California C.T. Mitchell - A View of Mount Shasta and Black Butte, Northern California


C.T. Mitchell - A View of Mount Shasta and Black Butte, Northern California
Signed l.r.: C.T. Mitchell
Medium:  Oil on canvas
Dimensions:  Canvas size: 10" x 14" Framed size: 14 ½" x 18 ½"

A Breathtaking View of Mount Shasta by a Turn-of-the-Century North Californian Artist

This is a gorgeous painting of Mount Shasta and Black Butte by turn-of-the-century Northern Californian artist, C.T. Mitchell. From the viewer's elevated vantage point, he or she is also able to glimpse a portion of the legendary Siskiyou Trail leading up to the base of the famed stratovolcano. The Siskiyou Trail, which once spanned between California and Oregon, was an ancient trade route first laid out by pre-historical Native American tribes. In addition to depicting two of California's most esteemed natural wonders, Mitchell's sumptuously colored work provides detailed illustrations of Northern California's vast array of verdant, bountiful foliage and monumentally-sized trees.

Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, artist-prospectors began flocking to the once sparsely populated region. After failing to realize their fortunes, a number of these artists found work creating portraits and landscape scenes for the "Big Four" railroad barons and some of San Francisco's other new millionaires. By the 1880s, however, there grew a national demand for landscapes of California's greatest scenic wonders, including Mount Shasta. This demand no doubt explains why so many prominent landscape painters decided to establish studios in San Francisco during the same exciting time period. Such artists included Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Martin Johnson Heade, and James Hamilton. Northern Californian landscape painters often traveled into the rugged Sierra Nevada region on foot or horseback to make the sketches that would later serve as the basis of the "finished" landscape paintings they completed in their urban studios.

This painting contains all of the elements of a "classic" Western landscape painting, a tradition that drew inspiration from the Eastern United States' Hudson River School, Germany's Düsseldorf School, and France's Barbizon School. For example, while Mitchell's work contains a vast amount of botanical and topographical detail, a trait typical of the Hudson River School, his overall painterly style is more consistent with European landscape traditions.

Mount Shasta, a 14,179-foot stravolcano, is the second-highest peak in the Cascade Range and the fifth highest peak in California. It stands unconnected to any nearby mountain, rising sharply from the miles of level ground which enclose it. The distinctive mountain consists of four overlapping volcanic cones and contains seven named glaciers. Black Butte comprises of a number of overlapping lava dames, and is a parasitic satellite cone of Mount Shasta.
 

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