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Closeout price! Recommended. By Scott A. Shields, Alfred C. Harrison Jr., and Claudine Chalmers. French artist Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) was one of the American West’s foremost talents, with a natural ability that many believed was second to none. After arriving in the United States, he and fellow Frenchman Paul Frenzeny were commissioned by Harper’s Weekly to travel by rail from New York to San Francisco, producing illustrations of the rapidly changing American frontier along the way. The images were dramatic — American Indian customs, the emerging cattle trade, the decimation of native wildlife, the natural beauty of mountains and valleys and forests. Pomegranate, 2014.

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French artist Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) was one of the American West’s foremost talents, with a natural ability that many believed was second to none. After arriving in the United States, he and fellow Frenchman Paul Frenzeny were commissioned by Harper’s Weekly to travel by rail from New York to San Francisco, producing illustrations of the rapidly changing American frontier along the way. The images were dramatic — American Indian customs, the emerging cattle trade, the decimation of native wildlife, the natural beauty of mountains and valleys and forests.

These scenes established Tavernier’s reputation as a bold and daring painter and influenced the work of subsequent artists. His reputation continued to grow in California, where he flourished. He became a member of San Francisco’s newly established Bohemian Club and his studio in Monterey was a hub of the peninsula’s developing art colony.

The strange grandeur of the Monterey coastline appealed to Tavernier’s imagination, and it was during this period that he produced some of the most audacious work of his career, featuring a host of mysterious themes and images.

Always on a quest for new and “untouched” subject matter, Tavernier moved on to Hawaii, fascinated by the island’s dramatic scenery. “There is material here for a lifetime,” he wrote to a friend, and, indeed, it was in this pre-industrial paradise, with its lush greenery, churning volcanoes and beds of lava, that he produced some of his most brilliant paintings.

Jules Tavernier: Artist & Adventurer, the catalogue for the exhibition of the same title, is the first publication to focus on Jules Tavernier and his full range of work. With more than 120 artworks and photographs, it explores the life and work of this extraordinary artist and adventurer.

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