Breaking Trail
FES Title: “Breaking Trail”
Alternate Titles:
Date: 11/05/1904
Size: 20″H x 30″W
Medium: oil-on-canvas
Type: Illustration
Published: Schoonover, Frank E. “Breaking Trail.” Scribner’s Magazine, May 1905: 567.
caption: Breaking Trail
Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover
Comments: TP 9/9/04
[of poster]; form 9/9/04; index
Commentary: The title of this work, “Breaking Trail,” reflects the recurrent theme of ‘breaking trail’ which permeates Schoonover’s depictions of the Canadian winter. Whether the trapper or the dog teams led the way and broke through the icy crust of the snow, the artist conveys the vast cold and emptiness of the landscape and the triumph of man and dog over the elements. Schoonover painted at least fourteen variations on this theme.
For Scribner’s Magazine, Schoonover wrote and illustrated “Breaking Trail” based on his trip to Canada (1903-1904). The Canadian drawings (#194-223) and illustrations for “Breaking Trail” reveal the images he recorded or photographed during his journey.
A large oil sketch (#231s) and a chromo-lithographic poster were created using the image. At least one poster still exists, and the image used above is of that poster, courtesy of a private collector. For further commentary, see #194 and #207.
See related photograph by Schoonover of indians in Canada. (#231p)
Provenance: Sold by artist to Mr. Ramsey; not known
Current Owner: