One of the most popular subjects for Hudson River School artists is Kaaterskill Clove, a scenic gorge located in the Catskill Mountains. In 1866, Asher Brown Durand painted a portrait of the Clove from a distant height, showing the panoramic vista of heavily forested mountains. The artwork depicts Durand’s deceased friend and mentor, Thomas Cole, engaged in discourse with poet William Cullen Bryant.
The painting portrays Communing with nature, which was a common theme among Hudson River School artists. As Cole and Bryant explored the Kaaterskill area of the Catskills together, they shared their passion for the American landscape. This was captured by Durand’s naturalist style of painting that showcased his love for American scenery.
Asher Brown Durand’s success began in 1820 when he became one of the founders of Hudson River School. He painted to illustrate nature’s beauty through his landscapes showcasing colors and styles typical to those found within an outdoors setting.
In summary, Asher Brown Durand’s artwork “Kaaterskill Clove” captures not only a beautiful scenery but also illustrates communion with nature as experienced by three American icons exhibiting similar passions about landscapes: Poet William Cullen Bryant and late painters Thomas Cole and Asher Brown himself.