California Painters

Explore the works discussed in the video below. Click the thumbnails to expand.

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 lured thousands of European and American fortune seekers to the Far West, and a cosmopolitan artistic community soon developed in San Francisco. The German emigrant Charles Christian Nahl joined the rush. When his search for gold proved unsuccessful, Nahl staked his fortunes on his artistic skills. He became the state’s first major artist as well as the leading pictorial historian of early California, celebrating its Spanish heritage in his images of vaqueros, the Hispanic forerunners of the American cowboy.

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