Untitled Document
Waterfall - Christian August Jorgensen
Christian August Jorgensen
"Waterfall", 1916
Watercolor on paper
14 inches
Signed and dated lower right
MME Fine Art Enlarge

Beginning in 1899, Jorgensen spent the warm months of the year painting in Yosemite National Park. He devoted 19 years to this pursuit, and his studio/house there is now a ranger headquarters. Waterfall is a wonderful representation of this phase of his career. It is small enough that he could transport it to the site, but sophisticated enough that it is a completed painting rather than a preliminary sketch. The unimpeded view of the waterfall and the rich colors will not be unfamiliar to anyone who has visited the National Park; Jorgensen was very faithful to his subject matter. His devotion to the site is apparent in every brushstroke—by the time he created this he had been exploring and depicting Yosemite’s natural beauty for 17 years. Waterfall makes for a provocative comparison with the works of any number of East Coast artists who visited similarly (if not identical) exalted locations and painted their versions of the Western landscape for audiences back home. The native Norwegian artist treats the subject matter with a combination of reverence and familiarity which is different from his eastern counterparts.


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