A Mountain Stream
Maker: Thomas Moran , American, 1837 - 1926
Dimensions: 24 1/4 x 44 in. (61.6 x 111.8 cm.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Herbert L. Herscher and family
Object Number: 97.35
Label Text: This landscape demonstrates the influence of British artist J. M. W Turner on the early work of Thomas Moran. Similarly to Turner, Moran contrasted storm clouds with glimmering sunlight and used tree branches in the foreground to create strong diagonals, producing a moody and dramatic painting. A Mountain Stream probably depicts the area surrounding Lake Superior, which provided the setting for many of Moran's earliest oil paintings. This painting is from his Opus series, which he began around 1863. Scholars previously thought that the Opus series ended at number 42, but during conservation, A Mountain Stream was found to be numbered 44, indicating that the series had continued. This idea of working in a series probably came to Moran after he purchased Turner's Liber Studiorum, a book of 70 engravings in which the British artist grouped landscape painting into six categories based on subject.