Worthington Whitteredge [sic]. "The Rocky Mountains." From Picturesque America. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1871. Steel engraving by R. Hinshelwood. 5 1/4 x 8 7/8. Very good condition.
Worthington Whittredge (misspelled on this print) was a well-known landscape artist from the mid-west who traveled to the American West with General John Pope's expedition of 1866. About 1870 he produced a painting, "Crossing the Ford, Platte River, Colorado," based on sketches he made during that trip. This is perhaps his best known painting and it was reproduced in print twice. The first was an 1869 wood-engraving in Leslie's Weekly and the second was this engraving from Picturesque America.
This two volume set illustrating the natural wonders of the country, and others of its genre, were popular during the mid-nineteenth century. Through their ample illustrations they provided a glimpse of nineteenth century America, its towns, cities, rivers, ports, important architecture, and other areas of interest. As stated by Sue Rainey, in her excellent Creating 'Picturesque America.', "As the first publication to celebrate the entire continental nation, it enabled Americans, after the trauma of the Civil War, to construct a national self-image based on reconciliation between North and South and incorporation of the West." (p. xiii)
When the editors of Picturesque America wanted to do a chapter on the Rocky Mountains, they selected this image for the steel engraving to accompany the chapter. The image was drawn from somewhere in the vicinity of Denver just a few years after the Colorado gold rush, which brought a large number of settlers to the high prairie along the eastern base of the Rockies. This prints shows a peaceful Indian village in a grove of trees, with Long's Peak in the background, a scene which does not foreshadow the tremendous development of the area that would soon result, especially after the railroads reached Denver the year before this engraving was published. Thus this print is as poignant as it is lovely. $115
Go to list of more images of Colorado from Picturesque America
Thomas Moran. "The Azure Cliffs. Of Green River Colorado." From Picturesque American Scenery. Boston: Estes & Lauriat, 1883. Engraving by W. Wellstood. Very good condition.
Moran is one of America's best painters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and he is particularly known for his luminous paintings of the American west. Moran was born in England in 1837 and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1844. Moran trained in England and Europe, but his best work is rooted in the natural wonders of his adopted country. He published his images as chromolithographs and engravings and this is one of the rarer of his prints, issued in Picturesque American Scenery. Moran was fascinated by the ethereal beauty of the west and was inspired by the cliffs of the Green River in Colorado. $175
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