The unknown artist who created this painting chose to depict a dramatic vista as seen from the foot of the American side of Niagara Falls. Until after the War of 1812, this area remained relatively unsettled and pristine. Few artists ventured from the British settlements to the wild banks across the gorge before 1807, when the first known view from this location was created. In the second decade of the nineteenth century, however, this rapidly became one of the region’s most popular vistas. Capturing the scene from a low vantage point allowed a painter to combine the sublime aspect of the falling water, observed at close proximity, with the picturesque character of the distant cataracts.
Label from Picturing Niagara, September 30, 2017–August 5, 2018