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Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09

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avatar Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 13, 2009 07:59PM
Here is the painting (screen cap from PBS), details below:

Obviously, Bridalveil Fall (not FALLS like the appraiser said).

Anyway, the owner obtained the painting at a garage sale for $1. The painting is by Thomas Hill Jr. circa 1908.

The appraiser described the painting as "filthy dirty but would liven right up" with restoration. He set the price at $5,000-7,000.

If it had been a painting by Thomas Hill Sr., the value would have been $20k-30k.

PBS doesn't have a video clip of this appraisal online yet, might give them till next weekend to put it up (I would put it up on youtube but Google's getting really sticky about posting TV shows).

avatar Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 14, 2009 07:18PM
Regarding fall and falls. It appears that a cataract or waterfall is more correctly called a falls. This may be a situation like "scissors" or "pants"-- plural treated as singular. Scissor and pant are not the standard term for a single unit (scissors or pants). Most definitions of "fall" indicate that the usual usage is "falls" pressumably even for a single waterfall.
It may be Bridalveil Waterfall but is probably most correctly called Bridalveil Falls.

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 14, 2009 09:30PM
The official name is apparently Bridalveil Fall
3_FID:257449" target="_blank" >http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=gnispq:3:3720913302580322::NO:tongue sticking out smiley3_FID:257449
(official "board" decision in 1932) but common usage is another thing.

I had looked this up some time ago, and came to the conclusion that using falls was technically acceptable even for a single waterfall. But it's still always bothered me to write "Vernal Falls" or "Nevada Falls" because they're single. But Niagra Falls...
(Niagra Falls, slowly I turned, step by step, inch by inch...) whoops, sorry 8^)
Vernal Fall
3_FID,P3_TITLE:255195%2CVernal%20Fall" target="_blank" >http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=106:3:3720913302580322::NO:3tongue sticking out smiley3_FID,P3_TITLE:255195%2CVernal%20Fall

According to the site, those links may not work; if not, use the search at

Oddly, Upper Yosemite Falls (?!), Lower Yosemite Fall, Yosemite Falls are all the correct names for those. Illilouette Falls, Ribbon Fall, Snow Creek Falls, Horsetail and Stairstep are not listed for Yosemite.

Anyway, what I meant to post about was the angle on that painting. I guess that's the advantage of painting vs. photography, because I can' t figure out where he'd have painted it from. First I thought Artist Point, but wrong angle. Valley View maybe, but El Cap and the Cathedral Rocks are too close together. Tunnel view nope. Maybe somewhere between Valley View and the Fern Springs area(?) Or just artistic license.

Post Edited (01-14-09 21:31)

Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 16, 2009 07:33AM

Regarding vantage point for the painting, many people are not aware that some artists, sensitive to the timely requirements of painting on site, would simply take a photo and later at their convenience paint from the photo. It is at that stage I think artistic license would often come into play. My wife's grandfather was an artist and writer. Nearly all of his paintings were done from photos he took because he could cover more ground with a camera that he could with an easel and paint brushes. This also permited him to utlize what would otherwise be a lot of down time during cold New England winters indoors.


avatar Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 14, 2009 09:42PM
fall, noun, (usually falls) a waterfall or cascade

falls, noun, a waterfall or cascade

Old Dude
Re: Yosemite Painting/Antiques Roadshow 1/12/09
January 16, 2009 01:46PM
It is true most painters, paint from a photograph these days.

In previous days, they would paint from sketches. This could account for some of the rather extreme artistic license, but I think they mainly embellished because they wanted to express their ideal of what the landscape should be.

There is a huge painting at the Stanford Museum (by Carleton Watkins?) that is of the view from Artist's Point (near the tunnel view), but has a very large extra mountain behind half dome. That's not due to a bad sketch. That's got to be artistic license.

There is a longstanding movement in painting to paint on the scene called "En Plein Air". So some do (still) work in the field these days. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_plein_air

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