This idyllic landscape shows trappers galloping across an open, verdant field in the shadow of dramatic rocky bluffs and surrounded by a delicate mauve and lavender sky. In general shape, the two mid-ground outcroppings resemble Courthouse and Jail Rock, and Miller does identify the scene as one south of the Platte and west of Fort Laramie. However, the third rock in the foreground and the distant chain of mountains make clear that this scene is one from Miller’s imagination. The bluff in the foreground, for instance, is covered in trees, and the landscape appears more lush than the region actually is today.
Miller’s accompanying note adds to the romance of the sketch by opining that nature must have been “in eccentric and merry mood” when she created the picturesque shapes of the monumental rock formations. He also compares the rocks to the Great Pyramids and quotes a line (though not accurately) from the old sage Edie Ochiltree of The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott.
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift