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California State Capitol Building (interior page 5 of 8)

Interior view of wall mural in the basement of the California State Capitol Building. Color adjusted photo by Howard J. Partridge.

Wall Mural, 3rd Panel of Epoch III Triptych
California State Capitol in Sacramento, California

Artist Arthur Frank Mathews (1860-1945) of San Francisco completed twelve wall murals for the California state capitol building in 1914.  They originally adorned the walls of the first floor rotunda, but the 1975-82 capitol restoration resulted in their relocation to the basement rotunda.  Mathews named the group collectively as "An Idealized History of California", arranging them in a ring of four triptychs, each with its own subtitle.  He called them: Epoch I, "Adventure"; Epoch II, "The Mission Era"; Epoch III, "The Pioneers"; and Epoch IV, "The City".  This photo shows the last scene from "The Pioneers" triptych, which concludes with the emergence of the modern era.  A gleaming metropolis rises high in the distance, perhaps a reference to San Francisco.  If so, the green domed structure near the center of this photo is probably an artful depiction of the state capitol building in Sacramento.  The steamboat seen at the left is then traveling along the Sacramento river, which had become an important link between San Francisco and Sacramento.  The structures in the bottom right corner most likely depict gold mining operations in the Sierra foothills.  Photograph by Howard J. Partridge taken in April, 2006.
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