William Alexander Coulter, Point Bonita Lighthouse, 1891

William Alexander Coulter
Point Bonita Lighthouse
Oil on canvas, 1891
22 x 16 inches
Gift of the Carl S. Dentzel Estate
Here is a view of the lighthouse at Point Bonita, located at the northern tip of the Golden Gate, as it looked in 1891. The third lighthouse built to mark the entrance to San Francisco Bay, its beam alerted ships approaching from the south. Here William Coulter emphasizes the height of the rocky promontory—the light is 124 feet above sea level—which dwarfs the sailing ship as it approaches. The sun is just setting and casts a pink light throughout the cloudy sky.