The Lake Her Lone Bosom Expands to the Sky


Alfred Jacob Miller ( American, 1810 - 1874 )

c. 1850
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General Description

The 19th-century preoccupation with nature and the American scene can be seen in the works of Alfred Jacob Miller, Albert Bierstadt, and Thomas Moran, painters of the West, all of whom were fascinated by the American frontier. The fascination with the unspoiled and never-ending wilderness resulted in compositions which documented westward expansion and reflected the heroic optimism of the period. The earliest views of this type were usually done by artists who joined expeditions to the West, recording their journeys in art. Miller was one of the first artists to explore the Rocky Mountains and the Oregon Trail as part of an expedition. The title of this painting, The Lake Her Lone Bosom Expands to the Sky, is a good indication of the romanticism present in the work. It is not a topographical sketch but rather an attempt to create a mood. In the painting one also sees Miller's interest in atmospheric haze and the picturesque effects achieved by Native Americans dotting the landscape, broken tree limbs, overgrown brush, and veiled mountains.

Adapted from

Anne Bromberg, "Description of Selected Paintings in the Collection," DMA Education files, 1987.

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