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.
- Frederic Edwin Church
- View of Cotopaxi
- United States
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower right: "F. E. Church '57"
- 62.2 × 92.7 cm (24 1/2 × 36 1/2 in.)
- Gift of Jennette Hamlin in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Dana Webster