Paintings by Harry Fonseca Paintings by Harry Fonseca


In the summer of 1997, artist Harry Fonseca returned to California from his Santa Fe residence to paint at his sister Elsie's home on the Shingle Springs Rancheria.

Harry Fonseca painting

Harry Fonseca painting by the American River in summer 1997.
Photograph by Carey Caldwell

Harry Fonseca, The Discovery of Gold in California, 5.21.97, #6

Harry Fonseca, The Discovery of Gold in California, 5.21.97, #6
Photograph by Catherine Buchanan

Painting outdoors in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Fonseca devoted much of his work during the summer to the California Gold Rush. The result was The Discovery of Gold in California, a series of nearly 300 abstract landscapes, predominantly on paper, with some on unstretched canvas. During the summer, Fonseca's cousin stopped by to watch him paint and view his work. After studying the pieces for a long time, he commented, "I get it. You are giving an impression of what took place."

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