OIL PAINTING: View from Mount Holyoke, Northamptom, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm (The Oxbow), 1836
Known as the father of the Hudson River School of landscape painters, Thomas Cole holds a prominent place in the history of American painting, both for the quality of his own work and for the influence he exerted over a generation of painters. At once a realist and a romantic, Cole infused America's natural scenery with a sense of sublime grandeur. He was fascinated by the oxbow formation of the Connecticut River below Mount Holyoke, Massachusetts, and produced this magnificent panorama of the valley just after a thunderstorm. He depicted himself at work in the foreground.