Cat. no. 78-03

Columbia and Eagle

Date: Apr-78
Item Type: Painting
Support: Canvas (Cotton Or Linen)
Dimensions: 48 X 48

Columbia and Eagle, Apollo Mission. 48 x 48.

I painted this portrait of Columbia and Eagle using lunar topographic
maps and descriptive geometry so that if you stand twelve feet from
the surface of the painting you will see the moon precisely as it
would look were you five thousand miles above the center of the moon
or four thousand miles above its surface with the command and surface
module and lunar lander one hundred yards out. It was my great
fortune to have Jack Schmitt come in and critique my painting. He
made me put the struts and plume guards under the maneuvering rockets
and open the hatch cover of the service module and point the antennae
toward earth. Then he had me color the lava flow in the Sea of
Tranquility to show the iron-rich red basalt in the center of the
maria and the cold gray around its perimeter. The only major defect
in the work is that Jack happened to land at Taurus Littrow, which is
approximately three inches off the upper right corner of the canvas.
For Profiles he said: There is a very real love that I have for the
world. I experience physical pleasure when I look at it. I'm not
alone in this. I look at George Inness' work and I see that he felt
the same way. Turner felt it. Constable. I have many predecessors
who've done very beautiful work and who were interested in the same
kind of phenomena that amazes me. Where I'm luckier is that I live
during a time when our view of the world has a much greater
perspective. We've seen it from outside the world. We've had views
that are so vast and breathtaking that they couldn't even imagine
them. I feel as if I have lived through an age of discovery much like
the people did in the Renaissance when they discovered the New World.

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