Description "So far as sketching was concerned, the borders of these Lakes offorded the best positions for views, as the water did not rise in too sudden a perspective, and the eye commanded with ease the full extent of mountain scenery beyond;- but we were eternally debating the question of ascension to the extreme summits- "We never are, but always to be blessed" Were we contented? No! What now? - we wanted to go to the tops of the gilttering peaks above us. The truth is the Sirens were singing to us, and very like fools we were listening too. At last a strong practical voice places a veto on the project, and if Ulysses in Sicily could have possessed himself of the same determined will, he need not have filled his sailors' ears with wax." 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.
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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