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Frank H. Shapleigh

Artist's Biography

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Sentinel Rock, Yosemite

Frank Shapleigh was a Boston painter, who studied in France for a year with the Barbizon landscape painter Emile Lambinet before journeying to California in 1870 with a large party of Bostonian cultural leaders. In normal tourist fashion, they visited Yosemite Valley, where Shapleigh took many field studies, but the artist also followed the “difficult mountain trail” to Hetch-Hetchy, and became the first artist ever to paint there. (S.F. Bulletin, Aug. 24, 1870).  His field studies were praised both by the Alta and the Evening Bulletin, the latter noting their faithfulness to local characteristics.  Back in Boston in September 1870, Shapleigh worked up his studies into finished paintings that received favorable notices in Boston newspapers.  Shapleigh went on to become one of the most important painters of New Hampshire mountain scenery, and later, the best professional artist to paint St. Augustine, Florida.


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