William Marple

Painting in Inventory

William Marple (1827-1910) came to California as a forty-niner and lived in Placerville until about 1866 when he moved to San Francisco and started exhibiting paintings of California scenery. In the late ’60s he formed a partnership with Solomon Gump and became an importer and dealer of paintings, while continuing his career as a landscape painter. One of his duties as an art dealer was to travel to Europe to find works to sell in San Francisco. There is no record of a Marple journey to Holland, and this painting, with its beautiful sunset tones, may actually be a copy of a Dutch painting that Marple imported to San Francisco. Marple may have admired the original and decided that it was cheaper to copy it than to buy it from his gallery.