Thomas Moran (1837–1926)
Grand Canyon with Rainbow, 1912
Thomas Moran was the premier painter of the American West; his geological epics are the standard by which all other efforts to capture natural drama must be judged.
Moran (1837–1926) accompanied John Wesley Powell’s famous survey of the Colorado River. Awed by the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, he prepared to paint a number of breathtaking canvases. When he returned to his studio in New York State, he worked in transparent oil glazes to convey the subtlety of the canyon’s colors and the vastness of its water-carved landforms.
In the collection of the de Young Museum of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Grand Canyon with Rainbow is a product of a later trip West. Moran made many such trips; he loved his subject, and it shows in this painting’s power.
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