A landscape featuring the snow-covered peak of the active stratovolcano Popocatépetl, in the center of the painting. The blue and white peak is encircled by bulbous white and pink clouds that separate it from stacks of jagged rust-red mountains that pierce the landscape before it. Four rows of red hills undulate across the foreground. Popocatépetl is the second largest peak in Mexico, spanning the states of Puebla, Morales, and Mexico in central Mexico.
Hartley traveled to Mexico on a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1932. He arrived in Mexico City, excited to explore the archaeological museums, but struggled with the altitude and moved south to Cuernavaca. He painted a group of symbolic landscapes in Mexico and exhibited them in February 1933 at the Galeria de la Escuela Central de Artes Plasticas, in Mexico City. This is one of four works Hartley painted of the volcano, including Popocatépetl, One Morning, 1932, now in the Sheldon Museum of Art; Popocatepetl, Spirited Morning – Mexico, 1932, in the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and Popocatépetl, 1932–33 (Private Collection, Sotheby’s 2012).
Carl Sprinchorn, New York, by 1943;
Hudson D. Walker, New York, by 1949;
N. McCullough Winters, Quincy, IL;
John M. Winters, Quincy, IL, by descent from his father, 1975;
Susan W. Caine, St. Louis, MO, by descent from her uncle, 2011;
Private Collection, by descent, 2020;
[Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers, January 9, 2021, lot 109];
Elizabeth McCausland Papers, Catalogue Raisonne Files, Box 15, Folder 7, Frame 11. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.