oil on canvas, 116.5- 91.4 cm. - private collection
Asher Brown Durand is one of the most important painters of the Hudson River School. He was a pupil of Thomas Cole, despite being older than him. More romantic and less faithful to reality than Cole, his works are, however, more beautiful and poetic, with clear influences of masters such as Meindert Hobbema or Claude Lorrain. Durand is the author of works like “Kindred Spirits” or “The beeches”, widely considered among the most important American landscape paintings ever created.
The scene, while apparently simple, possesses numerous allegorical elements filled with symbolism: there are two men at the top of the rocks, contemplating a fantastic fluvial valley studded with rocks, shrubs and water jumps. A majestic tree embraces the scene, giving shelter to both men who are contemplating the marvelous landscape. Two clearly symbolic elements -the waterfall and the eagle- emphasize an imaginary vertical line, dividing and organizing the composition. Everything is peaceful, everything is perfect within the grandiloquence of Nature
Text by G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com