Friday, 3 August 2012

A review of Thomas Moran

An art blog - Poul Webb Art Blog - has recently posted a series of five posts about the great landscape painter Thomas Moran (1837-1926).  These highlight his watercolour sketches and oil paintings of the American West.

Born in Bolton in Lancashire, Moran became one of the renowned painters of the Hudson River School.  He's best known for his panoramic paintings of the American West and the Rocky Mountains.  He's also known as: "Father of the National Parks" and "the Dean of American Painters".

Moran, Thomas - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1904
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (1904) by Thomas Moran
30 x 60 1/2 in. (76.2 x 153.7 cm), oil on canvas painting
Collection: Honolulu Museum of Art
Thomas Moran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
He's been on my list of painters to find out more about for some time.

So here's an introduction for me as well as any of you who haven't studied his work before.  I'm not quite sure where the images come from - but there's an excellent selection of images of Moran's paintings in the following posts.  If you click them and open in a new tab you can see larger versions.

I'm particularly impressed with his plein air watercolour sketches done on the spot.

Here are the links to
  • Thomas Moran - part 1 - an introduction and overview of Moran's life and important works
  • Thomas Moran - part 2 - Watercolour and gouache paintings on paper made during the Yellowstone Expedition and subsequently (early 1870s)
  • Thomas Moran - part 3 - Oil paintings on canvas, board and paper plus watercolours of Yellowstone and Yosemite - plus Nevada, Florida and other parts of Wyoming -- and Lower Manhattan
  • Thomas Moran - part 4 - Watercolour and oil paintings of landscapes in : USA: New Jersey, Florida, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Denver, Yellowstone Plus Scotland and Venice
  • Thomas Moran - part 5 - Oil paintings of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Tetons.  Plus waterfalls and geysers everywhere
If you want to get a mental fix on Moran, note that his dates are virtually identifical to those of Claude Monet (1840-1926) - although their painting styles were very different over time.

I've set up a "resources for art lovers" website on Squidoo - About Thomas Moran - American Landscape Painter.  It's got the basics in it - but I'll be continuing to develop it over time.  If you know of any excellent online references re Moran I'd be glad to hear about them

You can see more of my "resources for art lovers" websites about individual artists in About Artists