This painting, made almost thirty years after Miller’s trip west, may be a composite of several of his lake sketches representing Captain Stewart’s camp in the Wind River Mountains. In this case, he appears to have pictured an idyllic Indian camp in the foreground, but his focus is the “bold promontories [that] rise from the bosom of the Lake…terminating ultimately in pyramidal peaks.” (Ross 172) Miller frequently resorted to verse and to his European experience in describing his feelings while in the mountains:
In looking at the ruins about Rome, the spectator cannot fail of being sensibly impressed with the old, very old look of the buildings and remains of man’s handiwork. The stones even of which they are composed seem to be literally honey-combed with the storms of centuries, that have battled and bear against them. How different with these Lakes and Mountains;–although they have been in existence thousands of years, what a freshness and newness rests over them,–they are veritably the same yesterday, to-day, and forever to all appearances. (Ross 183)
Sam Drucker, Bureau of Land Management archaeologist who knows the region well, has suggested that this scene might represent Fremont Lake.
LC: AJMiller Pt.
The artist; Shirley Schmidt; The Peale Museum, Baltimore, MD; Maryland National Bank, Baltimore, MD, 1971; present owner by gift