Thomas Doughty, one of the pioneers of American landscape painting, adopted the conventions of the European landscape tradition, painters such as Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. Using sketching trips to gather material for his paintings, Doughty adapted the European conventions to depict the vital beauty of American scenery. This large and grandly composed work demonstrated Doughty's synthesis of old-master (European) landscape conventions with his own close observation of nature. It probably was not meant to depict a specific site, but to express the essential character of wild American scenery, a landscape inhabited by people but not yet changed by them in any fundamental way. It is considered one of Doughty's finest works and stands as one of the most impressive examples of American landscape painting of its day, only equaled, perhaps, by the contemporary efforts of Thomas Cole.