In addition to painting the splendor of North American scenery, Frederic Edwin Church traveled through South America in the 1850s and created dramatic Andean landscapes that were inspired by the German scientist Alexander von Humboldt’s 1849 travel accounts. Humboldt urged artists to paint South America in order to study and represent the earth in its most original state. The soft outlines and suffused golden light of this placid Ecuadorian landscape, however, lend it a nostalgic air. Altered perhaps by the veil of memory or the mellowing that comes with age, Church’s later renderings of the area relinquished the scientific purposefulness of his earlier paintings in favor of more generalized views and quieter moods.
(Text by the Brooklyn Museum, CC BY 3.0).