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Fallen Monarchs

William Bliss Baker (1859–1886), Fallen Monarchs, 1886, oil on canvas, 30 x 39 3/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. Thomas E. Robinson.


In this painting of a slice of nature, Baker draws us into a primeval forest with no sign of human intrusion. Trained in earlier traditions than impressionism, Baker’s work recalls similar paintings by the Hudson River School of landscape painters. Long a favorite of museum visitors, Fallen Monarchs resonates with a quiet beauty. Some consider it to be the masterpiece of the young Baker, who died in his twenties.

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