401 Brush Street Graton, CA 95444 United States 415.259.7918
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$ 37,000

Outing on the Merced River, near Half Dome, Yosemite

Documentation Signed
Documentation Notes Signed lower right and there dated 1886
Origin United States, California
Period 19th Century
Materials Oil on Canvas
W. 42.25 in; H. 33 in;
W. 107.32 cm; H. 83.82 cm;
Condition Good.
Creation Date 1886
Description Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Virgil Williams
The mainstay of the California School of Design in San Francisco in the late 19th century, he was Director and teacher from its opening in 1874 until his death twelve years later. In this position, he influenced succeeding generations of painters that made San Francisco one of the art capitals of the western world. Among his followers were William Keith, Thomas Hill, and Samuel Marsden Brookes.

Williams was also highly regarded as a genre, portrait and landscape painter, creating scenes of Europe that hearkened back to an earlier time and occasionally painting California landscapes from trips into Yosemite and the Sierra Nevadas. Albert Bierstadt was a sketching companion.

He was born in Dixfield, Maine, raised in Taunton, Massachusetts, and studied at Brown University before beginning his art training with Daniel Huntington in New York City. From 1853 to 1860, he studied Venetian glazing techniques in Rome with William Page, a New York painter, and married his daughter, Mary.

For three years, he had a studio in Boston and in 1862 went to San Francisco to design and install an art gallery at the Woodward Gardens, private villa and later public gardens of William Woodward, a hotelier and store owner who, traveling in Europe, decided to bring fine works of art to San Francisco. In Rome, Woodward had met Williams who spent several years helping Woodward amass his collection to bring to America.

Returning to Boston, Williams taught drawing at Harvard University and the Boston School of Technology and, divorced from Mary Page, returned to San Francisco in 1871 with a second wife, Dora Norton, one of his students who specialized in watercolor flower painting.
He was a co-founder of the Bohemian Club, and his work is in the Bancroft Library at the University of California Berkeley and the Silverado Museum in St. Helena, California.

Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art

Virgil Williams was born in Dixfield, Maine, in 1830. After receiving his degree from Brown University, Williams studied art in New York, and in Rome with William Page, whose daughter he would marry. Returning to the States, Williams would maintain a studio in Boston while teaching at Harvard University and the Boston School of Technology.

In 1874 he took a position as Director of the newly opened San Francisco School of Design, where he would be a major influence on early-California painting. Though he was a resident of California for 12 years before his death, he rarely painted its landscape, having preferred European subject matter.
Styles / Movements California School, Realism
Incollect Reference Number 397517
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