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Church traveled to Niagara Falls in 1856 where he explored numerous viewpoints of the cataracts in his many sketches. This painting is one of only a few self-sufficient studio works completed that year, and depicts Horseshoe Falls from the American side. The artist chose a traditional vantage point below the falls, emphasizing the height and force of the rushing water, concerning himself with the downward plunge of the cataract and its changing qualities of light and density. A brilliant rainbow links the sky and water, and three tiny houses dot the far shore.

Details

  • Title: Niagara Falls
  • Creator: Frederic Edwin Church
  • Date Created: 1856
  • Location Created: United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 11 15/16 x 17 5/8 inches
  • Provenance: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Gift of Miss Barbara Cheney, 1971.78
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Gift of Miss Barbara Cheney, 1971.78
  • Medium: Pencil and oil on paper mounted on canvas
  • Creator 1 death date: 1900
  • Creator 1 birth date: 1826

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