The Belated Party on Mansfield Mountain, 1858
Jerome B. Thompson (American, 1814–1886)
Oil on canvas; 38 x 63 1/8 in. (96.5 x 160.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1969 (69.182)
In the era when American landscapes were as popular as accounts of everyday life, Thompson achieved a balance in his work between nature and familiar human relations. Atop Mount Mansfield in Vermont's Green Mountains, a group of young men and women are resting after a day of hiking and picnicking and are enjoying the view of the vast Champlain Valley. As the sun sets and the evening breeze picks up, one sensible fellow holds up his watch to warn that they must soon depart. His companions ignore him, caring not that their way down the mountain will soon become difficult, even perilous. They are enraptured by the moment, the beauties of nature, and the possibilities of courtship at dusk.