Summit of Mount Washington in the White Mountains
The White Mountains' towering peaks excited peoples' imagination and traveling instincts during the nineteenth century. While on a four-year artistic journey across the United States, Richardt captured the excitement of tourists arriving at the barren summit of Mount Washington. Tourists arrived on horseback—the women mounted sidesaddle—following one of five bridle paths. At the summit, Richardt sets the scene in early morning with the surrounding mountains "floating in a sea of clouds." Overnight guests cheer the arrival of newcomers from the roof of the Tip Top House, the Summit House clinging to the rocks nearby. A small group raises the American flag, and another gathers at the cairn marking the actual summit.