Fine example of this rare chromolithographic view of Burning Lake of Mount Kilauea, which appeared as a supplement to the 1884 Christmas addition of the Wasp Magazine, published in San Francisco.
The view is a 14 color woodblock illustration printed by Schmidt Litho & Label Company of San Francisco, and is based upon a painting by the famous volcano artist, Jules Tavernier. Tavernier's fascination with Volcanos began in 1881, when he first illustrated the eruption of Mauna Loa for Harper's Magazine, a fascination which would change the course of his life and make him the most important of Hawaii's Volcano artists.
The view was prepared by Jules Tavernier. Jules Tavernier (1844-1889) was a French painter. He was born in Paris in 1844 and died in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1889. Tavernier was employed as an illustrator by Harper's Magazine, which sent him on assignment to California in the 1870s and would become one of California's most important artists of the period, although his distaste for his wealthy patrons (including Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins and William Ralston), along with his chronic asthma and mounting debts would drive him to leave San Francisco for Honolulu on a permanent basis in December 1884, just as the Kiluaea view was being published.
In Hawaii, Tavernier would make name for himself as a landscape and portrait painter. Tavernier is considered the most important artist of Hawaii's Volcano School.
While offered as a supplment to the Christmas edition of the Wasp, the print is exceedingly rare. We locate only a single example, referenced in a French on-line University archive.
The Schmidt Lithography Company was based in San Francisco. Max Schmidt, a German immigrant, founded his first printing business in 1873, and he was one of the first printers to use lithography on the West Coast. His plant burned twice, in 1884 and 1886, but by the 1890s he ran a factory in San Francisco, as well as branches in Portland and Seattle.
During the 1906 earthquake and fire the company’s premises were destroyed again. Schmidt quickly acquired a nearby paper factory and production continued practically uninterrupted. Within two years of the fire, Schmidt had rebuilt on the site of his former factory at the corner of Second and Bryant Streets.
Schmidt’s company was best known for its printed labels, but they also produced other items like separately-issued prints. The company was once the largest printing company on the West Coast and today they are remembered for the clock tower that still stands at Second and Bryant Streets.