His style of painting was influenced by the scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt. Alexander connected science, spiritual aspects and natural world. In addition, as a protestant, his beliefs also played a huge role on how he depicted his paintings. Tropical scenery is a South American landscape painting that Frederic did after visiting Suito, Ecuador several years prior. Some of his paintings besides the tropical scenery are: Syria by the sea, passing shower in the tropics and Figured in an Ecuadorian Landscape.
The Tropical Scenery was painted in the year 1883. He used oil to paint it on a canvas. He visited Ecuador twice before deciding to paint the South American Landscape. Alexander’s writing on his own journey to Ecuador was very influenced Frederic to embark on the journey to Ecuador. The tropical scenery is also referred to as Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Being a Protestant, the tropical scenery was painted to symbolize God’s power in creation of nature revealing the role of religion in the society.
The tropical scenery painting displays physical features emphasizing the essence e of the area.These features include the mountain ranges of northern coast of Colombia, dense vegetation; palm trees a lake and waterfall. The painting displays the beauty of nature and there relationship.The water basin gets its water from the mountain ranges. The sun’s rays are reflected on the still the water. The trees are seen to be enclosing the whole scenery.
The palm trees which are seen to be at a higher ground than other features symbolize the victory of life. This painting is not an actual view of the Sierra Nevada rather it is an idealized form of it and it was done at a time or era where people had materialistic worldviews. This was known as the Age of Enlighten. Also the fact that it is a panoramic view at a time where artists looked down upon it shows how he doesn’t follow the masses and he was actually able to bring about its reprisal.
In the foreground of the painting there is a figure of a woman and this symbolizes his mellow personality and his solitary lifestyle. This painting consists of features from different places in Ecuador brought together. It was painted from memory several years after his expedition. This painting depicts the beauty of nature and its splendor. It was painted at a time where Industrial Revolution was at its peak and modernity was spreading around the world except Ecuador.
By Frederic painting the Sierra Nevada it showed the expansionist and patriarchal attitude that the United States had towards the South America especially in the Age of Manifest Destiny. It was also painted at a time scientists and geologists were interested in the region for its rich flora and fauna. It is also said that Frederic did this painting to lure investors in the region.