Edmund Darch Lewis, Morning in the Kaaterskill

Edmund Darch Lewis: Morning in the Kaaterskill (1874) Oil on canvas
Morning in the Kaaterskill
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of Mary M. Lane, 2000
73" x 53"

Edmund Darch Lewis was a leading landscape painter in Philadelphia and participant in the exhibitions that featured the Hudson River painters in New York. Grand and romantic, Kaaterskill Clove was the kind of dramatic landscape that attracted the artist and his colleagues. Small figures in the foreground at left give a sense of the enormity and seemingly limitless scale of nature. Glowing light suggests a spiritual presence, just as the arch-shaped frame suggests a triumphal, religious experience. Here, nature is man's church.

Located in the Catskill Mountains, just east of Palenville, New York, Kaaterskill Clove is an expansive mountain ravine filled with lush forests and dramatic waterfalls, the largest of which —Kaaterskill—is taller than Niagara Falls. Many of America’s greatest writers, including James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain, wrote about Kaaterskill Clove, describing it as one of the most beautiful natural sites of the world. It was also the subject of several paintings by Thomas Cole, who founded the Hudson River School.

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