Charles Furneaux (American, 1835-1913)
View of a Volcanic Eruption, Probably Kilauea Caldera on Mauna Loa, c. 1886
Signed and dated "C. Furn.../188..." l.r.
Mixed media on paper mounted to Masonite, 22 3/8 x 50 1/2 in. (56.8 x 128.3 cm), framed (without glass).
Condition: Surface dust.
Provenance: Purportedly given as a gift from the artist to King David Kalakaua and displayed at the Iolani Palace; to the collection of Albert Solomon, Jr. and Harriet Solomon, former owners of the Kamuela Museum, Waimea, Hawaii, by descent in the Solomon family, and through to the present owners.
N.B. Although Furneaux was born and raised in Greater Boston, he is best known for his work in Hawaii. In 1880, Furneaux traveled to Hawaii on the advice of, and as a companion to William T. Bingham. The artist was immediately struck by the grandeur of the volcanoes and made numerous sketches on site of lava flows and eruptions, again encouraged by Bingham who was a gentleman scientist and devoted student of volcanoes. Furneaux's success garnered him commissions from King Kalakaua. While some of these were landscapes, many were portraits. Furneaux spent the rest of his life in Hawaii as a painter, teacher, and coffee farmer.
The media include pastel and charcoal over oil. The work is framed without glass, so there are subtle rubs and areas of mild pigment displacement.