A CLOSE LOOK AT THE PAINTING
"GREEN RIVER CLIFFS,
by artist Thomas Moran
A National Gallery of Art Special Exhibition
Up until June, 2013
In June 1871, Thomas Moran, a gifted young artist working in Philadelphia, boarded a train that would take him to the far reaches of the western frontier and change the course of his career. Just a few months earlier he had been asked to illustrate a magazine article describing a wondrous region in Wyoming called Yellowstone - rumored to contain steam-spewing geysers, boiling hot springs, and bubbling mud pots. Eager to be the first artist to record these astonishing natural wonders, Moran quickly made plans to travel west.
Green river was a bustling railroad town in 1871. Three years earlier, Union Pacific construction crews had arrived intent on bridging the river. Their tent camp quickly became a boom town boasting a schoolhouse, hotel, and brewery. Yet none of these structures appears in Moran's Green River paintings, even the railroad is missing. (Photo by Andrew J. Russell - Wikipedia)
Let's take a close look at our second painting this month "Green River, Wyoming", currently on display at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
|The geology of the the area is revealed in these eroded cliffs, so commonly associated with the Western United States.|
|On the right 1/3rd of the work is a beautiful depiction of Bristle Cone pines flourishing at the bottom of the cliffs and accented here by late afternoon light.|
|Almost home, the Indians on a hilltop overlooking their camp in the distance.|
|Moran captures the casual postures and personalities of the Indians and their horses as they chat and ride by the river, toward camp. Notice, there are no detailed facial features, just shapes.|
|A masterful depiction of a lone horse, showing the influence of photography - with the legs cropped out of the frame, is painted at the bottom/center of the work.|
|Artist Thomas Moran|
(East Hampton Public Library, New York)
|Left 1/3 of the canvas.|
|Center 1/3 of the canvas.|
|Right 1/3 of the canvas.|
(Sources: All photos were taken of this artwork with permission -at the National Gallery of Art by Jack A. Atkinson. All reference information was provided by the the museum.) Note: there is no FOOD segment in this issue.
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness, the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2013 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.