A View of the Western Branch of the Falls of Niagara, Taken from Table Rock

Collection Type

  • Art

Date

1801

GUSN

GUSN-72022

Description

Oil on canvas landscape painting depicting Niagara Falls, with a man standing on land to right, rainbow to the left, falls to the center.

Details

Descriptive Terms

landscapes (representations)
paintings (visual works)
canvas
oil paint (paint)
Picture
Landscape
Landscape

Label

John Vanderlyn was the first American artist known to have painted Niagara Falls. He completed two paintings in 1801 which he took to London two years later to be engraved, hoping for a commercial success to relieve his financial difficulties. The subsequent whereabouts of one of those paintings had been unknown until recent scholarship identified this View as the lost Vanderlyn. It is now on display at the Codman Estate in Lincoln, Massachusetts.
This painting presents an art historical puzzle. The scene is one that was painted by John Vanderlyn in 1801 and subsequently lost. Stylistically, this painting has all the makings of Vanderlyn's work, but the stretcher has the label of a Philadelphia art supplier known to have made copies. How the copyist got access to the original painting is unknown. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the painting belonged to James Bowdoin Bradlee and his wife, Mary. It hung in the parlor of their Beacon Street home in Boston, Massachusetts, for much of the remainder of the century.

Associated Person

Bradlee, James Bowdoin, 1813-1872
Codman, Thomas Newbold, 1868-1963

Associated Building

Original to Codman House (Lincoln, Mass.),

Associated Events

Elegant Embellishments (1982)

Maker

Attributed to Vanderlyn, John, 1775-1852 (Artist)
Possibly Scarlet, Samuel, 1775 (Painter)

Dimensions

34 x 42 x 3 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Bequest of Dorothy S.F.M. Codman

Accession Number

1969.778

Places

Probably New York state (United States)
New York state (United States)
Probably