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A Southerly Wind, East Hampton / Thomas Moran

Essay/Description

A hunter sets out with his rifle on a blustery day in Thomas Moran’s etching A Southerly Wind, East Hampton. This is nature animated through the use of curving lines and circle-like forms, which Moran employed throughout the composition to suggest the wind whirling and sweeping across the land. The artist repeats the semicircular form of the hill on the right in the cloud mass above the hunter. The thicket of trees to the left, as well as each individual tree in the grouping, also picks up on the circular shape. By depicting a rounded concentration of low-lying plants in the middle ground, directly below the hunter, and again in the central foreground, Moran suggests additional semicircles.

During the summer of 1880, Moran immersed himself in creating etchings of East Hampton, Long Island. He and his wife, the artist Mary Nimmo Moran (1842–1899), rented a house there for the season, and in time built a home and studio.1 The Morans delighted in the town’s rustic charms, its cottages shingled from roof to ground with wooden shakes. Its main street, lined with massive chestnuts and tapering poplars, was more lawn than pavement, and livestock roamed about freely. The couple busied themselves sketching and etching the village, its nearby beaches, sand dunes, ponds, and water mills, as well as windswept landscapes such as the one seen here or in Nimmo Moran’s East Hampton Barrens (1426.75a).2

—Sandra Pauly, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Moran Collection Research, 2021

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1 Morand and Friese, Prints of Nature, 7. The Morans first visited East Hampton briefly in 1878; thereafter, they rented cottages for the summer until 1883–84, when they built a home and studio.
2 Wilkins, Thomas Moran: Artist of the Mountains, 185–98.

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Title(s): 
A Southerly Wind, East Hampton; A Southerly Wind
Creator(s): 
Thomas Moran (Artist)
Culture: 
American
Date: 
1880
Period: 
Hudson River School
Materials/Techniques: 
dark brown printing ink on paper
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
1426.397
Previous Number(s): 
30610
Department: 
Signed in plate with colophon, "TM" in lower left on recto; Signed by hand in pencil, "T.Moran." in lower left on recto; Notes in the artist's hand; Inscribed by hand in pencil, "$5.00 'A Southerly Wind'" in lower left on recto; Inscribed by hand in pencil, "GMP4849.1" in lower right on verso.
Not On View

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