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Autumn on the Hudson, 1860

Jasper Francis Cropsey

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, Gift of the Avalon Foundation

oil on canvas

This monumental view of the Hudson River Valley was painted from memory in the artist's London studio. Jasper Francis Cropsey adopted a high vantage point, looking southeast toward the distant Hudson River and the flank of Storm King Mountain. A small stream leads from the foreground, where three hunters and their dogs gaze into the sunlight. All along the meandering tributary there are signs of man's peaceful coexistence with nature: a small log cabin, grazing sheep, children playing on a bridge, and cows standing placidly in the water. The painting created a sensation among many British viewers who had never seen such a colorful panorama of fall foliage.