Sanford Robinson Gifford 1823-1880
- Sanford Robinson Gifford
- The Camp on Mansfield Mountain, Vermont
- signed S.R. Gifford and dated Aug '58, l.l.
- oil on canvas
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1972
Acquired by the present owners from the above
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Fort Worth, Texas, Amon Carter Museum; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, An American Perspective: Nineteenth-Century Art from the Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., October 1981-September 1982, p. 131, illustrated p. 28
William C. Lipke and Philip N. Grimes, eds., Vermont Landscape: Images 1776-1976, Burlington, Vermont, 1976, p. 61, illustrated
Ila Weiss, Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880), New York, 1977, p. xxxiv
Ila Weiss, Poetic Landscape: The Art and Experience of Sanford Robinson Gifford, Newark, Delaware, 1987, p. 208-209, illustrated
Located in Vermont's Green Mountains, Mount Mansfield consists of a group of peaks which loosely resemble a man's face when viewed from the town of Stowe. In August 1858, Sanford Gifford climbed Mount Mansfield along with fellow artists Richard Hubbard and Jerome Thompson, and the trio camped on the 'chin' of its rocky summit. Though not as touted a tourist destination as New York's Catskills or New Hampshire's White Mountains, a carriage path and a hotel were built in the area between the two peaks of the 'nose' and 'chin' in 1858, and the area soon became a popular haven for travelers, largely because of its spectacular vistas. One contemporary description stated: "The whole valley of Lake Champlain appears spread out as a map, bounded by the lofty and picturesque Adirondacks on the south-west, and, opening in the north-west into the valley of St. Lawrence" (Zadock Thompson, Northern Guide: Lake George..., 1854, pp. 34-35).
Gifford's sketches in the Green Mountains led to at least twenty-one completed studio paintings of Mount Mansfield in the late 1850s into the early 1860s, approximately three of which specifically refer to a camp. The present painting depicts several figures camping near the 'nose' of the mountain, and likely relates to one of Gifford's few nocturnal views of the mountain, his 1860 Camping for the Night on Mansfield Mountain (formerly in the collection of the Adirondack Museum). In The Camp on Mansfield Mountain Gifford's "interest in rich impasto to define textural surfaces of the rocks is apparent; but light is also important, the low angled, slanting light which refracts from the rocks, accenting their massiveness and erecting a visual drama of cast shadow and reflections" (Earl A. Powell, Nineteenth-Century Art from the Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., 1981, p. 28).