Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California

Accession Number

Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California

Ansel Adams

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1944; printed 1980

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

14 15/16 in x 19 7/16 in (37.94 cm x 49.37 cm);21 15/16 in x 27 15/16 in (55.72 cm x 70.96 cm);26 1/8 in x 32 5/16 in (66.36 cm x 82.07 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Harry H. Lunn, Jr.

Label copy

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a winter dawn as it rakes across the Sierra Nevada mountains, casting stark, jagged shadows across its façade. The sunlit ridges and gorges gleam brightly in the early morning light, while the Alabama Hills below remain shrouded in darkness. Wisps of vaporous clouds shift across the mountain face and the sky above is shrouded in the pre-dawn murk. In the foreground, a patch of sunlight illuminates a line of leaf-barren trees, which silhouettes a lone horse as it grazes in the meadow. The tininess of the horse emphasizes the vast immensity of the mountains above. Framed between the shadowed foothills and the ashen sky, the mountains form a radiant block of light that stretches across the center of the image. This dramatic contrast between light and dark speaks to the liminal moment when the night is transitioning into day.

Physical Description
This photograph is of a mountain range in the early morning light. The foothills and meadow below are cast in shadow, and in a patch of sunlight, a horse grazes by a copse of trees.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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dawn (time of day)
modern and contemporary art
natural landscapes
nature photography
riding horses (animals)

& Author Notes

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