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View of Cotopaxi

Ecuadorian landscape with people, palm trees, waterfall, and volcano in background.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Ecuadorian landscape with people, palm trees, waterfall, and volcano in background.




Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900)

About this artwork

View of Cotopaxi brings together in visual form scientific, religious, political, and cultural ideas in the mid-19th century. Inspired by German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s concept of ecological interconnectedness, Frederic Edwin Church traveled to South America to meticulously study the tropical landscape. The artist produced at least ten finished paintings of the Ecuadorian volcano, this one completed in his studio just before his second visit to the region. For Church and other Christian viewers, nature, with all its creative and destructive wonders, was evidence of divine power. The painting likewise reflected an imperialist vision, as US government officials eyed Latin America as a site for territorial expansion and conquest.


On View, Gallery 171


Arts of the Americas


Frederic Edwin Church


View of Cotopaxi


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Signed, lower right: "F. E. Church '57"


62.2 × 92.7 cm (24 1/2 × 36 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Jennette Hamlin in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Dana Webster

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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