Existing comment: Jasper Francis Cropsey
Mr. Jefferson, Pinkham Notch, White Mountains, 1857

This canvas testifies to Cropsey's well-earned renown as America's painter of autumn. He belonged to the core group of artists that became known as the Hudson River school – though they were never an organized group. After regular sketching trips to regional forests and mountains, the artists returned to their New York City studios to produce landscapes for an approving urban audience.

Mount Jefferson celebrates the vastness of New Hampshire's White Mountains. By the time painters flocked to the region, it was already being altered by tourism and technology. Cropsey hints at this transition. As the small figure in the foreground sets off with his axe, he passes tidy stacks of new lumber. The nearby sawmill denotes a central American paradox: with the advance of civilization comes destruction of primeval wilderness.

First exhibited to enthusiastic praise in New York, the picture was later shown at the 1867 Universal Exposition in Paris. Only recently has it been determined that Cropsey inadvertently misidentified the vista's prominent peak. It is Mount Adams that commands the view, with Mount Jefferson to its left.
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