Lake Scene

Alfred Jacob Miller1858-1860

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

Proud of being one of the few artists to see the Rocky Mountains before the Oregon Trail was fully initiated, Miller read the accounts of explorers like John C. Frémont and revised the captions for his pictures in the light of their findings. When he encountered George Catlin in London, he commented to his brother that there was a great deal of "humbug" about Catlin and that Catlin was lucky there were so few people who had seen the West and who could discredit him. Miller, of course, considered himself one of the few.

Marshall Sprague, author of an essay about Miller and Stewart, has suggested that this is Frémont Lake.

In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.

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