Thomas Moran was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England and came with his family to the United States in 1844. He apprenticed to be an engraver but preferred painting and sketching mythological scenes. During the 1870s and 1880s Moran’s designs for wood-engraved illustrations appeared in several important magazines across America. Moran felt that painting American landscape was his destiny. His paintings appeared authentic but he sought a “higher truth.” He made his first western landscapes at Green River, Wyoming, in 1871, while travelling to meet U.S. Geological Survey expedition to Yellowstone country. Thomas Moran’s dream of Western landscapes was critical to the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Throughout his life he worked closely with the Hudson River School Painters in New York whose work often featured the Rocky Mountains.
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