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Think, Look & Compare Questions

Questions for Discussion
Connections to the Collection
Take a Look!

New Hampshire History Topic:
Self-Expression/Natural Environment & People
Visual Arts: Standard 3, Select and apply a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas; Standard 4, Analyze the visual arts in relation to history and culture.

Thinking About The Decisions the Artist Made
Questions for Discussion
  • Why did the artist choose to paint a landscape?
  • Why did the artist choose this scene?
  • Do you think the artist visited the site of the painting?
  • How did the artist choose the size of his canvas?
  • How does the artist lead you into the scene?
  • How does the artist create a particular mood?
  • How does the artist depict nature?
Connections to the Collection
Visual Arts:
Standard 3, Select and apply a range of subject matter, symbols and ideas

Jasper Cropsey’s paintings can be compared and contrasted with landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Sophia Towne Darrah, both of whose works are also in the collection of the Currier Museum of Art.

Albert Bierstadt

Moat Mountain, Intervale, New Hampshire, c. 1862

Bierstadt, a dominant figure in American art during the third quarter of the 19th century, is best known for his mythic views of the American West. His Moat Mountain, Intervale, New Hampshire, c. 1862 was painted from sketches Bierstadt made in the White Mountains during the summer of 1860, and accurately depicts the topography of the area of the Intervale in North Conway, New Hampshire which includes the White Horse and Cathedral Ledges, and Moat Mountain. The stillness effected in the foreground by the fenced and sunny fields of the Intervale contrasts with the threatening skies above the distant mountains. This tension is typical in the art of the Romantic era, which explores the relationship between man and the natural wilderness.

Sophia Towne Darrah

Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire, 1856

Darrah ranks among America’s first professional women landscape artists. Born in Philadelphia in 1819, her father was a noted collector and patron of American artists. In her long career she also painted pastel portraits and marine views. Her Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire depicts a distant view of Chocorua looking across the Saco River from North Conway. A green meadow takes up most of the foreground, and in the lower left, a reclining shepherd and several grazing sheep add an idyllic note to the scene. First depicted by Thomas Cole in the second half of the 1820s, Mount Chocorua and other White Mountain landmarks had become newly popular among the younger landscape artists who were emerging on the scene during the early 1850s.

Take a Look!
Questions to guide your analysis of landscape paintings

Visual Arts: Standard 2, Identify and apply the elements of visual art and principles of design

  • What is the first thing you notice about this painting?
  • What colors do you see?
  • What objects, if any, do you see?
  • Do you notice any people? Animals? Foliage?
  • What clues can you find to tell you the season?
  • What is the weather?
  • What is the time of day?
  • How do you feel when you look at this painting?
  • Does this look like any place you have ever visited?
  • Why do you think the artist chose this title for the work?

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Albert Bierstadt, Moat Mountain Intervale, New Hampshire, circa 1862
Albert Bierstadt, Moat Mountain, Intervale, New Hampshire, c. 1862
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Sophia Towne Darrah, Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire, 1856
Sophia Towne Darrah, Mount Chocorua, New Hampshire, 1856
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