William C. Fitler. “On the Big Bend”. (Mount Shasta). From John Muir’s Picturesque California. New York and San Francisco: J. Dewing Publishing Company, 1888. Ca. 7 x 10 1/2. Photogravure from drawing by William C. Fitler. Very good condition.
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. There is an excellent article about the work and art by Sue Rainey, which can be accessed on-line in the April 2007 issue of Common-Place.