The rush to the California gold fields in the early 1850's led to the popularity of a combination sea/overland route through the narrow Isthmus of Panama, an attractive alternative to an over 2,000 mile trek across the untamed plains and West. Tens of thousands of gold-seekers crossed through this tropical landscape, an exotic locale for northern eyes. Some of those passing through took up brush and canvas to record the scenery. One of the best known painters in the scene, in later years, was California artist Norton Bush (1834-1894). This oil on canvas painting was not painted by him, but it resembles the type of work he and some of the eastern Hudson River School painters produced in the second half of the 19th century, after their travels through the isthmus or mainland tropical South America. This work measures 10" by 18" (17 1/2" by 25 1/2" framed). It is unsigned. Condition is very good, with craquelure typical of works its age, and it appears as if a very small minor repair was made at some point at left center, in the trees. The painting, very atmospheric and luminous, probably dates to about 1880.
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