Moran, Zoroaster Peak, 11.96
Thomas Moran (1837-1926). Zoroaster Peak (Grand Canyon, Arizona), 1918. Oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches. Purchased by the Board of Trustees in honor of Peter H. Hassrick. 11.96
English-born artist Thomas Moran is one of the best-known names in western American art alongside Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, and Charles M. Russell. The trajectory of his career would change dramatically in 1871, when he went to Yellowstone w/ Ferdinand V. Hayden, director of the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1873, he went to the Grand Canyon with John Wesley Powell, and Colorado to visit the Mountain of the Holy Cross. He traveled extensively later, to Europe and Mexico, returned to the Grand Canyon, and the Southwest.
Moran died in 1926 at the age 89, making him 81 when he painted Zoroaster Peak in 1918! Of the Grand Canyon, Moran said: “it was by far the most awfully grand and impressive scene that I have ever yet seen.” Zoroaster Peak is now known as Zoroaster Temple and is located on the canyon’s north rim. Behind the triangular, almost symmetrical summit is the massive Brahma Temple.
In Moran’s painting, the Colorado River fills the foreground and reflects the colors of the canyon walls – from deep plum to lavender, ochre, and chalky white. Moran adopted the moniker Thomas “Yellowstone” Moran using the TYM monogram in his paintings. For personal verification and authentication, Moran left a thumbprint near his signature in the lower right corner.