Artist: Ron Embleton (biography)
Medium: Gouache on Board
Size: 13" x 11" (340mm x 280mm)
Signature: Signed by Artist bottom rightThis is the Signed original Gouache painting by Ron Embleton.
Early cattle drives headed west to the California gold fields after 1850, when cattle worth $5 to $10 a head in Texas would garner five to 20 times that amount in San Francisco. Most drives to California took five or six months.
Starting in the vicinity of San Antonio or Fredericksburg, many drives followed a southern route through El Paso to San Diego or Los Angeles and on north to San Francisco. These drives slowed by 1857, as the cattle market in California reached a glut. By 1859, only a trickle of cattle moved to the West Coast.
After gold was discovered in the Rocky Mountains, some cattle were driven to the gold fields there, starting about 1858. Some ranchers held contracts to supply beef to frontier forts and to Indian reservations in West Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico beginning in the late 1850s. Cattle ranching virtually halted during the Civil War years, as the frontier retreated. Beginning in 1866, however, ranching and cattle trailing expanded rapidly.
This is a rare example of a signed painting by Ron Embleton from the series The Winning of the West published in World of Wonder #100 1972. It shows his command of accuracy and detail in historical settings.