The Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park (1924) by JB Fairbanks

The Court of the Patriarchs, Zion National Park (1924) by JB Fairbanks

JB Fairbanks was a prolific and influential landscape artist, who dedicated his time to traveling throughout and capturing the huge diversity found in the State of Utah. In 1891, Fairbanks was one of four artists sent by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to study at the prestigious Academia Julien in Paris. These art missionaries returned to Utah to paint the interiors of various sacred Church buildings, including the Salt Lake and Saint George Temples. Fairbanks went on to teach at the University of Utah, where he passed on his passion for plein air painting to a new generation of artists, including his student LeConte Stewart.

Signed and dated "JB Fairbanks 1924," this painting depicts Isaac's Peak in The Court of the Patriarchs five years after the region was designated a National Park. Seen close up, Fairbank's confidence as a painter and extreme attention to detail are evident in his multiple stokes used on each of the hundreds of trees dotting the mountainside.

The work is both an early depiction of the park and a rare example of early Utah red-rock paintings, which would become its own genre of art, due in large part to Fairbanks own excursions and teaching.

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