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As of August 14 2015, the Government of Ecuador put their nation on alert that the giant volcano; Cotopaxi was about to explode. A high peak with an elevation of 19,447 feet (5,897 meters) above sea level it has experienced major explosions in 1742, 1768 and 1877. The last explosion of 1877 saw pyroclastic flows melting the entire ice cap causing mudslide lahars to race downhill to as far as 100 miles away.

By Saturday August 15th, President Rafael Correa declared a state of emergency, a move designed to give the Ecuadorean Government greater financial leeway in case of a major eruption. The Environmental Ministry closed the Cotopaxi National Park as a precuation during the current seismic activity.

The painting by the American artist Frederic Church was completed in 1862 and hangs in the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan, a fine museum which recently avoided liquidation because of the bankruptcy problems endured by the city of Detroit following decades of economic mismanagement. The 1862 work was realised as an allegorical statment of the travails being endured by the United States then in the agonies of the American Civil War. The paintings also by Frederic Church seen below, resemble what the giant mountain looks like, most of the time.


780Frederic Edwin Church Cotopaxi

780church cotopaxi

About the Author

Robert Alexander Boyle

Robert Alexander Boyle

 Alexander Boyle is a graduate of Trinity College, Hartford, CT where he majored in History. Prior to graduation he co-authored the seminal book Acid Rain in 1983. Alex has worked for the Metropo...