Landscape painting with mountain peak at center and rolling mountains to either side; valley in foreground with houses hidden among trees in deep shadow and along hillside; blue sky above with wispy clouds.
During the nineteenth century, the White Mountains in New Hampshire attracted the attention of European as well as American painters. This is one of three known views of Mount Washington from Sunset Hill by Luthy, who, like many American painters during the mid-19th century, viewed nature as divine. In "White Mountains" he utilizes the traditional tenets of the picturesque landscape, but infuses his work with emblems of an optimistic and expanding nation through his incorporation of the small village of North Conway in the foreground.
This stone slab is a fragment from a much larger piece that originally had narrative scenes focusing on an event in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha on either side. Here, we see lay devotees looking on in admiration, both the left and to the right.
The balustrade of a public park walkway seen at a slight distance acts as a foil for several figures grouped in front of the balustrade. To the left, two women stand talking while a child, with her back facing the viewer looks between the balusters towards the dome of a building in the distance beyond some trees. Too the right of the composition, a seated man and a woman shown in profile are grouped. Two ornamental urns decorate the balustrade.
During the Whistlers' short sojourn in Paris, Whistler frequently depicted scenes in the Luxembourg Gardens in both lithographs and, more rarely, in etchings. He used the architecture of the French formal garden to organize his compositions. Here he employed the balustrade, the dome of the Pantheon, and the urn that aligns with the dome to create a grid to anchor his figures. These prints invariably have an intimate character despite their public setting.