An Indian Paradise (Green River, Wyoming)


Thomas Moran ( American, 1837 - 1926 )

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General Description

The Green River area in Wyoming was a site dear to Thomas Moran's heart. He painted this subject nearly forty times after he first encountered it in 1871 on an illustration commission for "Scribner's" magazine. In this late example, nostalgia has informed Moran's memories, creating a landscape that is a blend of fantasy and reality. The shimmering mountain range of Tollgate Rock rising out of the mist recalls Moran's numerous scenes of Venice and stands in opposition to the often harsh environmental contrasts of the actual American West. And by 1911, when Moran gave the painting its poignant title, the Native American riders advancing into the landscape had long vanished with the dominance of Anglo-American culture after statehood in 1890.

Adapted from

William Keyse Rudolph, DMA label text, 2006

Fun Facts

  • Thomas Moran played an important role in the founding of the National Park System. His watercolors of Yellowstone were presented to Congress to show the beauty of the region and highlight the need to preserve and protect it.

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