Description Easterners first experienced the Rocky Mountains through Miller's landscape paintings. Finding it difficult to convey the scenery's vastness, Miller strove to live up to his own descriptions: "...huge masses of rock are piled one upon another lifting themselves skyward," he wrote. "At the base in the water lies a monstrous boulder, brought down (no doubt) centuries past, in one of [nature's]... convulsive fits; beyond this a bluff covered with stunted vegetation pushes boldly out of the lake... farther off the mountains continue to rise until they reach the region of eternal snow." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.
|8/19/1981||Examination||examined for condition|
- Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860
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