Travelers on a Stormy Path

attributed to George Robert Bonfield, American, 1805 - 1898


mid-19th century

Oil on canvas

Overall: 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 61 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Bequest of Dr. Frank P. Stetz, in loving memory of David Stewart Hull, Class of 1960.



Place Made: United States, North America


19th century

Object Name


Research Area


On view


Stamped twice on reverse of stretcher, in green ink: CHRISTIES / P [in rectangle]; numbered, in white chalk, on frame stretcher: 4141 84; inscribed on modern hand-lettered, gilded wood frame label, front of frame: GEORGE ROBERT BONFIELD, N.A. / American: 1805-1898


Thunderclouds roll in from the left as a tree sways above travelers on the dirt path. The man closest to us holds his hat, keeping it from blowing into the pond at right. We see no shelter for these figures about to be subjected to nature’s wrath. Bonfield’s sublime landscape heightens our awareness of water’s torrential powers by suggesting what is to come. Will these travelers escape their precarious predicament? Or will they be subjected to the storm’s power? The painting’s ambiguity invites viewers, both past and present, to ruminate on water’s life-giving and life-threatening forces.

From the 2023 exhibition Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, curated by Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art

Course History

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Francine A'Ness, Summer 2023

Exhibition History

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH. From Titian to Sargent: Dartmouth Alumni and Friends Collect, 1987. September 12-November 1, 1987, no. 96

Liquidity: Art, Commodities, and Water, Israel Sack Gallery and the Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 29, 2023-June 16, 2024.

Publication History

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, with essays by Hilliard T. Goldfarb and Barbara J. MacAdam. From Titian to Sargent: Dartmouth Alumni and Friends Collect. Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, 1987 (no. 96, b & w illus.).


Christies East, New York, New York, Sale April 5, 1984, lot 64; sold to David Stewart Hull, New York; bequeathed to Dr. Frank P. Stetz, New York, NY, 1998, bequeathed to present collection, 2009.

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