This painting is essentially a copy of “Mt Cocoran” painted by Albert Bierstadt in 1877, and originally called: “Mountain Lake“. The following year, inspired in part by the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s well-publicized purchase of his rival Frederic Edwin Church’s Niagara, Bierstadt offered the work—rechristened Mount Corcoran—to the museum and its founder, William Wilson Corcoran. Staff and board members were deeply suspicious, but Bierstadt presented them with a War Department map showing the mountain’s location. Curator William MacLeod opined that a government official had manually added Corcoran’s name to the document, but it was revealed that the artist had, in fact, named a specific Sierra Nevada peak for the banker (albeit after he had offered him the canvas). Undeterred by the controversy surrounding the painting’s acquisition, the artist stated: “I am happy to have named one of our highest mountains after him, the first to catch the morning sunlight [and] the last to say good night.”
I named my version of the painting: “Mt Cook” for obvious reasons. I really enjoy copying old masters paintings. I certainly can’t copy their detail or elegance, but I do learn a lot from the effort.
Finished in December 2020 as a commission for a friend
Sold - Commission
© 2021 by Sam Cook.