Collection

112251D9

Men and Mountains

Rockwell Kent (American, 1882 - 1971)

1909. Oil on canvas, 33 x 43 1/4. 1931.190

Rockwell Kent was fond of rugged and remote places and physical challenges. The setting of the work was inspired by the Berkshire Mountains, which, the painter said, reminded him of ancient Greece, where Hercules wrestled with Antæus. The title of this painting appears in a couplet by William Blake: “Great things are done when Men & Mountains meet / This is not Done by Jostling in the Street.” The hills, partially shrouded in the shadow of massive cloudbanks, are meant to seem timeless and mythical. The painting’s depiction of male nudity shocked many. When it was first exhibited in Columbus in 1911, the painting was hung in a room reserved for “Men Only.”

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