This image is closely related to CR# 61A, but Miller has altered the composition in the middle and background by removing the grazing horses and placing the figures against a broad plain, rather than a wooded glen. As a result, the image loses some of its sense of intimacy, emphasizing instead the sense of rest as a break from the long prairie that lies temporally and literally ahead of them.
Miller’s accompanying note describes how he would use the noon day rest to climb into the wagon, fetch his portfolio, and sketch. The note also includes an important tidbit about his working relationship with his patron. Although Miller appears to have been able to use his free time as he pleased, he records that Stewart once came up to him during one of these breaks and said “you should sketch this and that thing.” Miller joked that, “if I had half a dozen pair of hands, it should have been done!” However, the interlude points to Stewart’s potential involvement in selecting the scenes Miller painted. Those preferences would later be exercised when he selected which of Miller’s watercolors he wanted included in his collection, and which of those watercolors would be reproduced in oil.
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift