Kaaterskill Falls on the Catskill Mountains, Taken from Under the Cavern, William Guy Wall


William Guy Wall (American, 1792–1864) 

Kaaterskill Falls on the Catskill Mountains, Taken from Under the Cavern, c. 1827 

Oil on canvas 

Gift of The Mared Foundation, 1969 (3583.1) 

Like his contemporary Thomas Cole, William Guy Wall specialized in images of the natural scenery of the Hudson River Valley and nearby mountain ranges. A view from a cavern overlooking Kaaterskill Falls, this painting depicts a site in the Catskill Mountains that rivaled Niagara Falls as a popular destination for tourists and artists. The mouth of the cave both frames and opens out onto the cascading falls and forested mountains beyond them, lending dramatic effect to the work, yet remaining true to the topography of the scene. At the base of the falls are five adventurers, who experience America's natural beauty firsthand and in doing so participate in a key aspect of the development of the country’s national identity. 
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