Between 1769 and 1823, under the leadership of Father Junípero Serra, the Spanish established a chain of missions along the California coast. Models of architectural beauty, they stretched from San Diego to north of San Francisco. Artist David Rickman's accurately rendered and well-researched drawings (including several double-page spreads) depict all 21 of these admirable structures, among them San Buenaventura, San José de Guadalupe, Santa Cruz, San Diego de Alcalà, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Clara de Asís, Santa Bàrbara Virgen y Màrtir, Santa Inés Virgen y Màrtir, San Francisco Solano, San Juan Bautista, and San Luis Rey de Francia. Also included are realistic, ready-to-color vignettes re-creating various aspects of mission life, particularly the role of the mission in converting the Indians to Christianity and instructing them in farming, weaving, blacksmithing, masonry, and other crafts — even painting and decorating the mission church and surrounding buildings. An informative caption accompanies each illustration, giving a brief history of the mission, while a general introduction explains the history and purpose of the mission system in California. A map indicates their locations.