Thomas Hill (1929-1908). “Mirror Lake.” [Yosemite].
From John Muir's Picturesque California. New York and San Francisco: J. Dewing Publishing Company, 1888. Ca. 7 x 10 1/2. Photogravure. Signed in pencil by the artist. Imperial Japan Artist Proof Edition. Full margins. Edition: 100. Some light staining and soiling in margins. Light diagonal creases upper left and lower left margin corners. Not affecting image. Else, good condition.
Thomas Hill was born in Birmingham England and moved with his family to Taunton, Massachusetts in 1844. Hill studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts under Peter F. Rothermel. Hill began his painting career as a New England artist along with a group of others artists/friends that included Asher B. Durand, George Inness, Benjamin Champney, Albert Bierstadt and others. Hill moved to California in 1861 for health reasons and painted Yosemite for the first time in 1862.
Partly in response to the success of Picturesque America, San Francisco publisher James Dewing conceived the idea of doing a similar work on California and nearby western areas to be entitled Picturesque California. The full extent of the topic is indicated by the subtitle: The Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Slope. California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Etc. Illustrated with Etchings, Photogravures, Wood Engravings, Etc. With text edited by John Muir, Dewing gathered images by a number of (as the title states) "Eminent American Artists." The work was intended to provide an overall picture of the Far West, both its natural and cultural wonders, produced primarily for a western audience. It was sold by subscription and included eight hundred images produced by a variety of printing methods. This print is from a very small edition in which the photogravures and were signed in pencil by the various artists who contributed to this publication.