San Luis Rey Mission, Cal. by James David Smillie

San Luis Rey Mission, Cal. by James David Smillie

San Luis Rey Mission, Cal.

James David Smillie

Title

San Luis Rey Mission, Cal.

 
Artist
Year
1891  
Technique
softground etching printed chine colle 
Image Size
15 3/4 x 8" platemark 
Signature
initialled "J.D.S.", lower right 
Edition Size
first proof, trial proof before the addition of aquatint 
Annotations
in pencil, lower right "First pf. Dec. '91; Too dark." 
Reference
JDS71; Wittoft 73 
Paper
china paper supported on a sheet of heavy wove 
State
proof; I/II without publisher's line. First proof printed. 
Publisher
 
Inventory ID
BC192 
Price
$1,500.00 
Description

According to raisonne cataloguer Brucia Witthoft, "Smillie painted the subject from a photograph on October 5, 1891; reduced the painting by using a camera lucida a few days later, and began to work on the etching on Oct. 16. The sky is blank in an etching proof of Dec. 1891 (NYPL and this impression), before the aquatinting. JDS began to add the aquatint on Jan 1, 1892, putting in clouds and contrasts.

In 1892 a group of Franciscans from Zacatecas, Mexico sought refuge in California and asked the Bishop for a site to move their novitiate. They were assigned to San Luis Rey under the guidance of F. Joseph Jeremias O’Keefe. Fr. O’Keefe has been referred to as the rebuilder of the mission. From 1892-1912, Fr. O’Keefe repaired the church and rebuilt the permanent living quarters on the foundations of the old mission (where the museum sits today). Restoration has continued throughout the years since Fr. O’Keefe’s death. Included in this has been the partial rebuilding of the quadrangle in 1949 for a Franciscan college which serves today as a Retreat Center. During the 1950’s and 60’s the Friars uncovered the soldier’s barracks and the lavanderia from layers of dirt accumulated over the years. In 1984 a restoration effort to stabilize and preserve the exterior of the church building was completed. Conservation of painting and sculptures in the museum collection is an ongoing process, and archaeological investigations continue to unearth the past.

See: http://www.sanluisrey.org/Museum/History