This is a painting done by Asher Brown Durand. It depicts the painter Thomas Cole and his friend William Bryant within the Catskill mountains. The painting isn't a the literal depiction of american landscape yet an idealisation of Cole's memory of the land and has possesses his ideas of American Nature. The painting was commissioned by a friend of Bryant who gave it to him as a eulogy of Cole who had died 1848. The scene is one that was depicted by both Cole and Bryant. Cole painted 'Kaaterskill falls' while Bryant wrote a poem called 'Caaterstill falls'. This painting takes inspiration from both pieces and ties them together by having both men gazing at the scenery. It has often been said that this painting captures the era of discovery that it depicts.
The pictures its self shows many aspects of the American landscape of the area of New York State. It shows the ferocity of the waterfalls leading into the calm river that shows the rocky shores. It shows the large mountain ranges of the region in the background which looks calm and contrasts with the manic trees in the foreground.