The Vale of Wyoming

Object Number: 
Oil on canvas
Overall: 61 1/2 x 36 5/8 in. (156.2 x 93 cm)
Verso: The title is inscribed on a label on stretcher member
Landscape, gilt plaster frame about 8 inches in width
Gallery Label: 
The Vale of Wyoming is a major work by Edmund Darch Lewis, who was prominent in Philadelphia art circles for many years as a painter and as a collector of antique furniture and china. Born into a wealthy family, he was educated privately and his wish to become an artist led to study in the 1850s with German expatriate landscape painter, where his fellow pupils included William T. Richards, William S. Haseltine, and Thomas Moran. Unlike his colleagues, Lewis spent most of his long and productive career primarily interpreting the varied terrains of his native state, with the exception of an expedition to Cuba that resulted in a series of fine paintings of tropical climes. His works were exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Boston Athenaeum and, before 1860, at the National Academy of Design. The Vale of Wyoming is Lewis's romantic visual homage to the famous passage of the Susquehanna River near Wyoming Village. The valley was long a touring destination for its varied scenery and for the historic Revolutionary War battle in July 1778 that was followed by a massacre; a tragedy that had inspired writers and poets for a century. The centennial of that event in 1878 may well have inspired Lewis to portray the subject on such a monumental scale.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Florence and Joseph P. Ritorto
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group