Although older than Thomas Cole, Asher Brown Durand became interested in landscape painting after accompanying Cole on a sketching expedition, so he is often considered Cole’s most faithful follower. His most famous work, "Kindred Spirits", is actually a posthumous tribute to Thomas Cole, who had died the year before this work was completed.
Durand has represented his mentor in the company of his friend and poet William Cullen Bryant. The two men are standing on a rock, contemplating a fabulous river landscape that includes geographical features (the waterfall that can be seen in the background is a fairly accurate representation of the Kaaterskill Falls, one of Cole's favorite subjects), but it is not a literal record of a specific place, but an idealized vision of nature.
This painting, perhaps the most famous work from the Hudson River School, was donated to the New York Public Library in 1904, and it was sold in 2005 in a silent auction at Sotheby's to the Walton Foundation for $35 million, the highest price ever paid for an American painting.
G. Fernández - theartwolf.com