Following Hudson River School leaders Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand, many nineteenth century artists turned towards the American landscape for their inspiration. In the painting of unique locations, previously untouched and perhaps undiscovered by their countrymen, artists provided viewers with scenes of serene majesty. Such compositions allowed artists to celebrate the exploratory and courageous spirit thought to be inherent in their fellow citizens. Through the visual representation of lakes, forests and rivers, American painters separated themselves from the more urban centers of industry found in London and Paris, claiming a unique land and character as their own.
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