San Francisco de Asís Historic Images
San Francisco de Asis (popularly called Mission Dolores) is one of the jewels of the California Missions. While not too much remains of the original complex (just the church and part of the original cemetery), the old mission chapel is the oldest intact building in San Francisco. It has been carefully preserved. There was a complete restoration and retrofit in 1990 and 1994.
Because of this mission’s location and appeal, San Francisco de Asis has been extensively illustrated by expedition artists and the prominent painters of the 19th century. This gallery presents eighteen of the most important paintings, drawings, and lithographs of this historic mission and several events that took place in its early history.
Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco
Ohlone Indians dancing in front of Mission San Francisco de Asis
A lithograph of an 1816 watercolor by Louis Choris, artist for the Russian Expedition of Otto von Kotzebue (1815-1817).
Only the men danced. They were decorated with feathers and carried spears.
Indians on a tule boat navigating San Francisco Bay
By Louis Choris, 1816. The middle figure is a mission neophyte.
A sketch of mission era buildings circa 1816
Mission San Francisco de Asis by Henry Miller, 1853
Miller completed the first full set of mission drawings.
Bullfight at Mission Dolores
By Edward Vischer, 1872. In the mission era, there were as many as thirty-five holidays a year, where events like this bullfight were especially popular.
Mission Dolores on Judas Day
A painting by Oriana Weatherbee Day. This engaging painting was recently restored. It is part of a complete set of Day’s mission paintings at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
San Francisco de Asis by Edwin Deakin
Circa 1899, this drawing shows the mission as it looked around the time of its secularization.
H.C. Ford’s drawing of Mission Dolores
From 1883, Ford’s drawing shows the mission as it looked in the 1830s.
Mission Dolores Circa 1870
A colorized photograph showing the former mission Convento converted to a seminary and priest’s quarters.
A drawing of Mission Dolores
By Harry Fenn (1845-1911). Fenn’s drawing shows the mission church in a state of decay.
A 1910 painting by Alexis Matthew Podchernikoff (1866 - 1933). Courtesy Library of Congress.
San Francisco de Asis
Shown with the 1918 Gothic Revival Church towering over the mission chapel. From an early 20th century print in the collection of the California Missions Resource Center
Preaching and Farming at Mission Dolores
Statue of Junipero Serra by Arthur Putnam 1918
The Mission Dolores Altar
Photographed by Carol Highsmith, this richly gilded baroque altar and the reredos of this church are stunning. Courtesy of Library of Congress.
Statues on display in the mission church
Photographed by David J. McLaughlin. The art in this mission is among the most sophisticated in the mission chain.