Volcano, Lionel Walden

Lionel Walden (American, 1861–1933) 

Volcano, c. 1915 

Oil on canvas

Gift of Frances Damon Holt in memory of John Dominis Holt (7750.1) 

Beginning in 1880 and continuing into the first decades of the 20th century, the volcanic eruptions of Mauna Loa and Kilauea on the Island of Hawaii attracted the attention of residents, tourists, and artists. The academically trained painter Lionel Walden is one of many landscapists of the so-called Volcano School, who fed the market for images of the natural spectacle of the volcanoes by capturing their dazzling phenomena—including and especially, as in this example, the nocturnal drama of fiery lava flows, magma lakes, and smoldering craters.