Solitude, a lithograph by American painter and printmaker Thomas Moran, is an outstanding example of his work in capturing the essence of nature rather than topographically accurate scenes. Moran was greatly inspired by the landscape of Yellowstone National Park and he created several works featuring the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone. In Solitude, we see Moran’s eye-catching use of light and dark, which adds to the dramatic effect captured in this painting.
The artwork features a rocky outcropping in the foreground with a winding stream leading to a tree on the shoreline. The skillful use of color by Moran highlights its brilliance in using deep blues for shadowy zones that contrast vividly with bright oranges used to highlight sunnier areas. This contrast creates striking visual effects as well as showcasing Moran’s masterful lithography techniques.
Moran aimed at depicting sublime experiences rather than literal interpretations which made him stand out from his contemporaries. He studied J.W Turner’s works, another great landscapist, but unlike Turner who portrayed human life interacting with nature; Moran preferred unoccupied landscapes like Solitude.
Solitudes’ theme and execution fit within his artistic style where Nature was seen as both mystical and spiritual forces transcending human experience. Overall Thomas Morans’ portrayal of both solitude and wilderness exudes these same qualities creating pictures so moving that even decades later happens upon it feels transported into another world – one entirely disconnected from civilization yet deeply connected with our soulful existence now more than ever worth contemplating amidst our busy routine life today.