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Christian A. Jorgensen, American, (1860–1935)

Untitled (Carmel Dunes)

ca. 1921
Painting
Oil on canvas
21 x 27 in. (53.34 x 68.58 cm)
Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Roland William Scheffler
Accession Number: 1998.085


Like Carl Jonnevold, Jorgensen was a Norwegian-born artist who found his way to California in the late 19th century, settling in Yosemite with his young wife, Angela Ghiradelli, heiress to the Ghirardelli fortune. They live there from 1900 to 1917, while having built a mansion in Carmel which he called his winter studio. (That structure is now the La Playa Hotel.)



Although known mainly for his Yosemite landscapes, Jorgensen, while in Carmel, was drawn to the quiet beauty of its dunes. Dune paintings abound among Central Coast artists during the early century, as so many artists found inspiration in the minimal simplicity of their tones and shapes. Note the focus on the empty sands in the foreground, with just a tiny glimpse of the ocean toward the right. The forcefully windswept cypress trees add drama to this otherwise quiet landscape.

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