Why two (or more) drawings of the same thing?

 

How did Bruff go about drawing his drawings?

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks

The Beinecke

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks [v1]

 

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks

The Beinecke

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks [v2]

 

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks

The Huntington (used by permission)

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks [v3]

 

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks

The Huntington (used by permission)

Hill capped with ruin-like rocks [v4]

As Bruff walked along the road to California he would sketch the scenes he saw and the events he witnessed in a diary he carried with him.

Then, when the company camped for the night, Bruff would redraw the sketches he had made in his diary, adding detail such as wagons, animals, and people.

That now gives us two versions of his drawings: on-site sketches drawn in his diary, and revised drawings drawn in a “journal.”

After his return home, in June of 1851, Bruff prepared a manuscript for publication. And, since he wanted the publication to be “copiously illustrated,” he produced a portfolio of drawings. In addition, he created a color version of a number of the drawings in his publication portfolio. (Two more versions.)

All in all, Bruff made four versions of many (but not all) of his drawings: version 1, the on-site sketches drawn in his diaries; version 2, the revised drawings of his journal; version 3, the drawings in his publication portfolio; and version 4, color versions of some of his portfolio drawings.

Of course, Bruff did not make four versions of all of his drawings. There are 13 complete sets of four versions of a drawing; 40 sets of three versions, and about 70 sets of two versions. About half of Bruff’s drawings have only one version.

For more information on Bruff's “diary,” “journal,” “publication portfolio,” and his “notebooks” and “pocket notebooks” refer to our “Notebooks”, “Diaries”, and “Journals” page.