In the summer of 1887, Abbott Handerson Thayer returned to the southwest New Hampshire town of Keene, where he had spent his childhood, to teach painting. One of his students, Mary Armory Green, offered to build a cottage and a studio for him on her property in nearby Dublin. Thayer and his family summered there until 1901, when they took up permanent residence. The move from Keene to Dublin brought Thayer closer to Mount Monadnock. Not only had Thayer known the compelling vista from his youth, as an adult he had embraced the transcendentalist philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote of climbing the mountain. The panoramic view from the summit revealed the vast potential of the physical world. Thayer painted the mountain at least fifteen times—this oil sketch, boldly colored and vigorously painted, was one of his earliest—seeing in its solitary grandeur a powerful metaphor for self-reliance.