Mount Lafayette in Winter
In early March 1870, Thomas Hill visited the White Mountains with photographer Benjamin West Kilburn, whose well-known stereographs include views of Mount Lafayette, covered in snow. Hill saw in the distance Mount Lafayette with Franconia Notch and Cannon Mountain beyond. Later, he probably used Kilburn photographs in his studio as a source for this painting's composition. Hill painted his first significant landscapes during his early stay in California (1861-66), where the nearby Sierra Nevada afforded impressive views. Mount Lafayette in Winter reflects the artist's interest during these years in White Mountain vistas, "new" views of popular subjects, and the preferences of Boston collectors. The landmarks depicted in this unusual landscape would be easily recognized by viewers who had visited the area.