Moran had illustrated Yellowstone's wonders before he ever saw them.
Mr. Thomas Moran, a celebrated artist, and noted for his skill as a colorist, exclaimed with a kind of regretful enthusiasm that these beautiful tints were beyond the reach of human art.
"Thomas Moran began conjuring images of the upper Yellowstone before he even saw the place."
"The first impression on beholding it is that of a snowy mountain beautifully terraced, with projections extending out in various directions, resembling frozen cascades, as though the high, foam-crested waves, in their rapid descent over the steep and rugged declivity, were suddenly arrested and congealed on the spot in all their native beauty. "
"I did not wish to realize the scene literally, but to preserve and to convey its true impression."
"He probably would have agreed that seeing the painting was no substitute for the real thing. But then, seeing the real thing is no substituted for the painting."