The Narrows at Lake George

Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823–1900)
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions26 1/4 × 36 1/8 inches
CreditGift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Wheeler, 1924
Accession Number24.29

Autumnal light on water, framing trees, and distant mountains exemplify the Hudson River School. Rampant industrialization made many Americans see the wilderness as a source of national pride. Artists swarmed the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Lake George—all just a train or steamboat from New York. Cropsey’s painting was truly nostalgic, based on sketches made over 40 years earlier. Even then he lamented, “All of the best trees . . . have been turned into timber . . . all the forest about are second growth, now and then an old tree remaining.”