This flat, wide-open river scene exudes an expectant air. As if anticipating the arrival of a larger group, one figure looks back toward the dense thicket, while the other fords ahead in the background. The river’s large boulders and waterlogged branches jut out in large relief from the stream, calling into question its calm surface. Hints of Miller’s penciled underdrawing are visible throughout the work, most markedly, the diffuse rays of a setting sun peeping over the hillside are left visibly unfinished. The sepia toned gouache provides a beautiful tonal contrast in the work, breaking up the thick, dark strokes of vegetation with the more airy wash of the sky and water.
Emily C. Wilson