Frederic Edwin Church

Smooth Neck of the Moon

“Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, located about 17 miles south of Quito, Ecuador, South America…

Cotopaxi means Smooth Neck of the Moon, and was honored as a sacred mountain by local Andean peoples, even prior to the beginning of Inca domination in the 15th century. It was worshiped as rain sender, that served as the guarantor of the land's fertility, and at the same time its summit was revered as a place where gods lived.

In Carib Cotopaxi means King Of Death. In Cayapa it means Burning Collar, and in Quechua it means Mass of Fire.”

~ From “Cotopaxi,” Wikipedia

Night time lapse movie of the Cotopaxi Volcano by Stéphane Guisard.


Two paintings of Cotopaxi Volcano by Frederic Edwin Church:

Smithsonian Museum 1855

“On his first visit to Ecuador, the artist waited an entire day near the hacienda pictured here, hoping that the clouds would part to reveal the peak. American critics complained that Church's paintings of the volcano did not capture the soft atmospheric haze that they were used to seeing in landscapes. Those who had never traveled to the high country of the Andes did not understand that in the thin, clear air, Cotopaxi's icy flanks gleamed just as Church had painted them.”

~ From Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Detroit Institute of Arts