Walt Whitman agreed with many art theorists of antebellum America that proscribed landscape painters be as “true” as possible to nature’s forms and colors. The poet condemned paintings which “distort honest shapes.” As he suggested, “most works are beautiful without ornament.” He might therefore have agreed with one contemporary journalist’s view of this painting which stated that Mount’s “natural effect of the noonday sun with its cool, clear, transparent shadows, impressed us with so much truth that we were painfully reminded of the black, opaque, unmeaning shadows (so called) in another class of pictures which are before the public. Effect is too much sought and in the wrong way.”


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