Church's works of Near Eastern themes are insightfully discussed by J. Davis, "Frederic Church's
'Sacred Geography,"' Smithsonian Studies in American
Art, 1, Spring 1987, 79-96.
Church's extant correspondence contains several
distinctly uncomplimentary references to modern and
ancient Italy. For a sampling, see D. Huntington, "Frederic Edwin Church, 1826-1900: Painter of the
Adamic New World Myth," Ph. D. diss., Yale University, 1960; Ann Arbor and London, 1969, 182, 185-86; Huntington, The Landscapes of Frederic Edwin Church, New York, 1966, 91. See also A. Blaugrund "The Old
Boy Network in Rome: Tenth Street Studio Artists
Abroad," chap. 16, below.
On one of his few trips outside Rome, Church
painted an oil study of Monte Guinaro, possibly
because the scene reminded him of the Lebanese desert. The work, dated February 1869, was recently on
the art market ( Christie sale, New York, March 15, 1985, no. 18A).
In the Olana collections there are eight photographs of the temples at Paestum (inv. nos.
OL.1983-495, OL.1983-497-503). At the Cooper-Hewitt
Museum there are one oil study (inv. no. 1917-4-331)
and four large graphite drawings by Church of the
subject; one of the latter is discussed and illustrated in E. Dee, To Embrace the Universe: The Drawings of
Frederic Edwin Church, Exhibition Catalogue, Hudson
River Museum, Yonkers, N.Y., 1984, 106-107.
The painting was listed no. 34 in the exhibition
catalogue. See Catalogue of Paintings, Now Exhibiting in
the Wadsworth Gallery, Hartford, Exhibition Catalogue, Hartford, Conn., 1844, 18-19.
This is affirmed by a letter from Charles Walker
to Frederic Church, dated Hartford, February 3, 1880
( Archives, Olana State Historic Site), written on a sheet
of stationery displaying at the top an image of Cole's
painting of Mount Aetna.
Cooper-Hewitt inv. no. 1917-4-1293. The drawing
comes from a "small" sketchbook, now dismembered,
that Church purchased on July 3, 1844. Church cited
the purchase in a MS notebook ( Olana Archives) covering his expenditures for his first year as Cole's student,
between June 1844 and May 1845.
Church listed the purchase in a MS notebook
( Olana Archives) covering his expenditures between June 1845 and June 1846, his second year with Cole.
The painting, of oval format, is illustrated and
discussed (without topographic identification) in F. Kelly
G. Carr, The Early Landscapes of Frederic
Edwin Church, 1844-1854, Exhibition Catalogue, Amon
Carter Museum of Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1987, 78-80.
The two works in question are paintings of the
Ecuadorian volcano Cotopaxi, illustrated and discussed in K. Manthorne, Creation and Renewal: Views
of Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church, Exhibition Catalogue, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., 1985, 76.
Cooper-Hewitt inv. no. 1917-4-1465; the drawing on the recto is inscribed "On Simplon."
Most of the drawings, some transcribed in a
small sketchbook and the others on larger sheets of
paper, are in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum; a few are in
a private collection. Noteworthy among those items in
the Cooper-Hewitt Museum are an oil study (not inscribed) of Monte Rosa (inv no. 1917-4-568B); and
drawings of a small chapel, and another of a one-
arched bridge, both near Ceppo Morelli (inv. no.
1917-4-1304); a view of Monte Rosa, and a narrow cascade (inv. no. 1917-4-1303); and a view of a declivity "Between Ceppo Morelli and Macugnaga," a wood
bridge clinging to the sheer wall (inv. no. 1917-4-421).
J. Murray, A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland, and the Alps of Savoy and Piedmont, London,