MORAN, Thomas (1837-1926)
Grand Canyon of Arizona - From Hermit Rim Road
New York: Printed by American Lithographic Co. and Published by Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System, 1913. Colour-printed lithograph. Sheet size: 27 x 35 inches.
This majestic print is the largest and most dramatic of Thomas Moran's printed works.
It was published by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1912, after the original oil commissioned for (and still owned by) the line. It shows a tremendous sweep of the scenery of the Grand Canyon from the Hermit Rim, with the bright colors of the Canyon shown dramatically against the turbulent sky. Thomas Moran, famous for his superb landscapes of the West, first painted the Grand Canyon in 1873 when he painted his "Chasm of the Colorado," which he sold to Congress the following year. In 1892 he visited the Canyon as a guest of the Santa Fe Railroad, whose line now brought tourists within easy reach, and painted a large canvas for the line in return for a free trip. The SFRR completed a spur line to the rim in 1901, and consistently sponsored "artist's excursions" there from 1901 to 1912, as well as purchasing paintings for promotional efforts. In 1912 the railroad capped twenty years of association with Moran by commissioning this picture and producing this large chromolithograph. Almost all copies of this Moran print were soon trimmed and framed, and distributed by the SFRR as promotional gifts. Few of these have survived, generally being badly framed, usually without glass, and displayed in poor conditions. A small number remained in the archives of the railroad, and so have retained their untrimmed and pristine state. The present copy is in this uncirculated condition. A fine copy of Moran's most striking printed image.
Nancy K. Anderson, ed., Thomas Moran, pp.301,320 (detail).