Thomas Moran


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Thomas Moran (1837-1926)


One of the most celebrated artists of the day, Thomas Moran was intimately in tune with the spirit of his age, and this, combined with his phenomenal artistic talent, accounts for much of his fame. To the great majority of people who did not have the resources or daring to travel, Moran provided an image of the American continent's infinite potential as symbolized by its dramatic, unique landscape. The English-born artist showed American expansion as a fated conclusion, a glorious destiny written into the very landscape of the new country. Soon after he immigrated to the United States in 1844, Moran began his extraordinarily broad ranging career as a wood engraver's apprentice in Philadelphia. Moran's designs for wood engravings, dramatic oil paintings, small watercolors, and delicate etchings’ emanated from his genuine passion, not from a response to commercial
opportunity.


This untitled view of snowy peaks and a mountain lake seems to breathe with the nature it represents. Moran perfectly captures the light, cool colors of the momentous heights, while sprinkling in gentle hints of a warmer palette in the foliage throughout the composition. The intense realism of Moran's technique combines with the expansive size of the image to create a commanding view that mesmerizes the viewer.


Thomas Moran's pictures resonate perhaps even more strongly today than at the time of their production. The optimism visible in his work echoes with the American experience of the rest of the 20th century, and it is with increasing nostalgia for the nation's pioneer history that today's viewers regard the artist's work. Moran's images have grown in appeal and this untitled scene of snowy peaks rising beyond a lake represents a rare opportunity to acquire a significant work by an unparalleled artist of the American landscape.