TheBruff Project

About Bruff’s Drawings


A page from one of Bruff's notebooks

The Beinecke

A page from one of Bruff's notebooks

Bruff drew more than 600 drawings during his California gold rush adventure and later, when he was preparing a manuscript for the book he wanted to publish describing that adventure. (It was never published.)

Cantonment Loring

The image on the right is a page from one of Bruff's pocket notebooks. The image on the left is a "cutting" from that notebook page.

You can easily see a drawing in the cutting, which has been slightly enlarged. If you look closely at the notebook page, you can see the drawing to the right, in the center of the page. That drawing is one of the smallest of Bruff's drawings; as he did in many instances, he drew it right in the notes he was writing on the page.

The drawing shows the plan of Cantonment Loring.

The drawing shown below is one of Bruff’s larger drawings, drawn when he was on board a steamer (perhaps the one shown in the drawing). He was heading from San Francisco to the harbor at Trinidad (northern California) from which he walked to the “Gold Bluffs” just beyond. This drawing, which is actually about 13½ inches wide, is from the portfolio of drawings Bruff produced when he was preparing his manuscript for publication. Obviously, it is larger than the small drawing shown above, but it is certainly not the largest of Bruff's drawings.

As described on the “versions” page of this web site, Bruff frequently drew two, three, or even four different drawings (versions) of the same scene or subject.

The drawings shown here are monochrome, drawn in pencil or ink. The color you see is from the aged paper, now about 160 years old. Thirty-five of Bruff's other drawings were watercolors (most probably guaches).