Object Record

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Title Mt. Mansfield
Object ID GWVS-1.23.35
Description Mt. Mansfield is a preparatory sketch for a larger painting that was first exhibited at the 1859 National Academy of Design Annual Exhibition. The artist considered the exhibited canvas among his most important pictures and the work established Gifford's reputation as one of America's premier landscape painters.

Gifford painted the panoramic view of Champlain Valley, seen from the summit of Mt. Mansfield, the highest elevation in Vermont, after a sketching excursion in the summer of 1858. The artist was known for creating quick, on-the-spot pencil sketches that took about 30 seconds to complete. When Gifford returned to his New York studio, he painted larger oil sketches based on his small drawings and notations about color and composition as preparation for his larger canvases.

Here, the artist has dramatically juxtaposed the foreground ledge on which two hikers and their dog stand with an inaccessible and expansive middle ground and background. The composition suggests a vast, untamed wilderness. American landscape painters were considered by the public to be daring in their pursuit of scenery, and through the success of their pictures, popularized the locations they painted. Gifford would eventually paint 18 canvases that featured the magnificent views of and around Mount Mansfield.
Artist GIFFORD, Sanford Robinson
Publisher's Seal x
Country American
Date 1858
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions H-7 W-14 inches
Credit line George Walter Vincent Smith Collection
On Exhibit Yes, Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Fleet Gallery