Hudson River Landscape
Although the artist and date of this painting are unknown, it is most likely a product of the Hudson River School. Originating in the mid-19th century, this style of painting is considered one of the first truly “American” artistic movements. The Hudson River School is characterized by a sense of pride in the grandeur and fertile abundance of the nation. It also conveyed a sense of the Romantic sublime, a feeling of awe at the monumentality and pristine spiritual beauty of nature. The towering mountain and vast sky are typical of the movement. In this particular painting, the inclusion of figures and settlements allude to a harmony between humans and nature, as well as the power of Americans to domesticate the continent. The Hudson River School has been criticized for presenting American nature as pure and minimally occupied despite the early spread of industry and the forced relocation of Native Americans from many regions.