19,484 visitors today 342 antiques added today
Relevant Categories
antique photo
Choose an antique category

Thomas Moran (american 1837-1926) The Empty Cradle 1880 - Etching, Print


£950 | $1,324 USD | €1,107 EUR
Item Number: SA823763
Date of manufacture: 1880
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
This antique has been viewed 22 times in the past month with the most views from Germany.


Toned line etching, printed in brown ink with retroussage on white wove paper with wide margins. Ink smudges within the plate-mark. This print is displayed in a new mount (no frame).
Inscribed in pencil by the artist; “The Empty Cradle” (below lower plate-mark). A further pencil inscription written by the artist at the bottom of the sheet reads "Miss C F Gordon Cumming with regard of Thomas Moran".
Printed in the plate with the artist’s monogram and dated 1880 (lower left).
Sheet: 12 1/8 in x 9 3/8 in. (31 cm x 23.8 cm.)
Image: 7 13/16 in x 5 5/8 in. (19.8 cm x 14.9 cm.)
Plate-mark: 8 5/8 in x 6 1/4 in. (21.8 cm x 16 cm.)
Mount: 16 1/8 in x 13 3/8 in. (41.1 cm x 34 cm.)
Exhibition catalogue: C. Klackner’s, New York, March 1889. A Catalogue of the Complete Etched Works of Thomas Moran and M Nimmo Moran. “The Empty Cradle” 1878. A Pah-Ute woman mourning at the cradle of her dead baby. From a photograph from life made by the etcher in Utah. Page 10. No. 9.
Exhibition catalogue: The Prints of Thomas Moran in - The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art. Oct 1986 – Jan 1987. Pages; 80-81. No. 18, illustrated.
This print is in very good condition and is unique in the respect that it was gifted by the artist to the noted Scottish travel writer and painter, Constance Frederica Gordon-Cumming (1837-1924). Gordon-Cumming was born into a wealthy family, she travelled around the world painting and writing on scenes and life as she saw them. She was a friend and influencer of the travel writers and artists Marianne Isabella North and Isabella Bird.
Gordon-Cumming visited Yosemite Valley in April 1878, after visiting Tahiti. She intended to visit for 3 days but ended up staying 3 months. She says "I for one have wandered far enough over the wide world to know a unique glory when I am blessed by the sight of one . . ." She published her letters back home as Granite Crags in 1884. While in Yosemite Miss Gordon-Cumming also drew watercolour sketches, which she displayed in Yosemite Valley—making it the first art exhibition in Yosemite.
In May 1882 the Moran’s sailed for the British Isles – they visited Scotland and London (where they met Francis Seymour Haden of the London Society of Painter-Etchers and John Ruskin). A year previous to this visit Mary and Thomas were invited to become fellows of the London Society of Painter-Etchers, and Moran was elected an Associate of the National Academy. Ruskin bought etchings from both the Moran’s.

Despite his inventiveness, Moran also had a strong naturalistic proclivity. He encountered photographers on many of his expeditions and commissions, and his brother John’s occupation as a photographer in Philadelphia may have led to Thomas’ incorporation of photographs into his works. The Pah-Ute Girl and The Empty Cradle were both drawn from photos taken by the German-born American, John Hillers (1843-1925) on the 1873 Powell expedition to what is now Utah and southern Arizona. Apparently, Moran arranged the poses to correspond better to nineteenth-century artistic conventions. Moreover, the costumes may have been anachronistic, for Hillers states in his diary that, on the 1873 expedition, Powell took along clothing acquired on an earlier trip in the late 1860s. Similarly, Moran produced an etching titled, The Church of San Juan, this etching was also derived from a photograph but several sketches and watercolours intervened between the photograph and the final print. The mere copying of photographs was never Moran’s aim.
Thomas Moran made more than eighty etchings during his career. Throughout the 1880's Moran was widely exhibited, winning honours, awards and high critical praise. The etchings also enjoyed commercial success, with various editions selling out shortly after their publication.
All our prices include FREE packing and delivery within the UK.
For delivery costs outside of the UK please contact us with your shipping address so we can provide options and prices.
PayPal /Card transactions can be processed through PayPal on our company website. We also accept payment by cheque and bank transfer. Deferred payments can be accepted over an agreed period of time whilst paintings remain with us.


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 1880.


Height = 41.1 cm (16.2")
Width = 34 cm (13.4")
Depth = 0 cm (0.0")

Seller Details

Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
United Kingdom

International Tel:

Email seller about this item:

Link to this item

Similar antiques ... view more