Cliffs of Green River
Oil on canvas
45 3/8 x 25 1/8 in.
signed and dated l.r.: TM [monogram] oran. 1874
titled and signed u.c., in graphite on brown paper attached to stretcher: Valley of the Rio Virgin - TM [monogram]
u.r., in ink on brown paper attached to stretcher: FG # 1
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
In 1871, Moran accompanied a U.S. Geological Survey expedition to explore Yellowstone, a vast region still largely unknown to the outside world. On his way to join that expedition, he traveled along the Green River, where the multicolored, sedimentary bluffs that rise along its banks fascinated him.
These towering landmarks became one of the artist’s favorite subjects, repeated in more than forty canvases over the next thirty years. Green River, already transformed into a major rail crossroads by the time Moran first visited there, always remained in his mind’s eye a landscape untouched by time, visited only by a few adventuresome trailblazers.