View full screen - View 1 of Lot 137. 'Pompomasos, Three Brothers, 4480 ft., Yo Semite'.
137

Carleton E. Watkins

'Pompomasos, Three Brothers, 4480 ft., Yo Semite'

Carleton E. Watkins

Carleton E. Watkins

'Pompomasos, Three Brothers, 4480 ft., Yo Semite'

'Pompomasos, Three Brothers, 4480 ft., Yo Semite'

Carleton E. Watkins

1829 - 1916

'Pompomasos, Three Brothers, 4480 ft., Yo Semite'


arch-topped mammoth-plate albumen print, mounted, signed 'C.E. Watkins' in ink and titled in pencil on the mount, framed, a Fraenkel Gallery label on the reverse, 1861

image: 15 ¾ by 20 ¾ in. (40 by 52.7 cm.)

frame: 26 ⅞ by 30 ⅞ in. (68.3 by 78.4 cm.)

Please note the colors and shades in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing the darkest, deepest albumen print and highlights that retain their original detail, this print is a 10. The dark tones are a rich chocolate brown. The midtones have terrific range and the highlights are creamy white. There is excellent detail throughout, notably in the dense foliage in the foreground and the rock face in the middle ground. This print is in generally excellent condition. The following are visible in raking light: faint impressions and hairline scratches; and a 1/2-inch soft crease at the right edge, most likely a result of the mounting process. There is a 1/2-inch hairline scratch at the lower right corner, which appears to break the emulsion. A 1/4-inch linear mark, possibly graphite, can be seen at the upper edge of the print. Faint silvering is visible in raking light, primarily at the edges. The mount is soiled and appropriately age-darkened at the edges and on the reverse. There is a small tideline at the lower edge, not impacting the photograph. Tiny, scattered foxmarks are visible on the mount, primarily near the edges. '27.' is written in pencil in an unidentified hand at the upper right corner. On the reverse, there are two 1/4-inch circular deposits of indeterminate origin. On the reverse of the frame are 'The Grindstone Trust Co.' and 'The Bedford Collection' labels.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
Peter E. Palmquist, Carleton E. Watkins: Photographs 1861–1874 (San Francisco, Fraenkel Gallery, 1989), no. 17 (this print)

Weston Naef and Christine Hult-Lewis, Carleton Watkins: The Complete Mammoth Photographs (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011), cat. no. 168

Tyler Green, Carleton Watkins: Making the West American (Oakland, 2018), p. 112

San Francisco, Fraenkel Gallery, Carleton Watkins: Photographs 1861 - 1874, May - August 1989
In the July 1863 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, cultural critic and amateur photographer Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of Watkins' photographs of Yosemite: 'As specimens of art they are admirable, and some of the subjects are among the  most interesting to be found in the whole realm of Nature. . . the mighty precipice of El Capitan, more than three thousand feet in precipitous height, - the three conical hill-tops of Yo Semite [The Three Brothers], taken not as they soar into the atmosphere, but as they are reflected into the calm waters below - these and others are shown clear, yet soft, vigorous in the foreground, delicately distinct in the distance, in a perfection of art which compares with the finest European work.' (quoted in Tyler Green, pp. 111-12).  

Prints of this image are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2005.100.1275); the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (85.XM.361.23); George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester (1981.2899.0015); and Santa Barbara Museum of Art.