Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- This is a landscape painting of a homestead (a family home and the land that surrounds it) in New Hampshire.
- The expansion of the United States moved steadily westward in the 1800s. Many people moved to find land where they could build a home, farm, and raise their families. The land they claimed was often Native American land.
- This imagined scene shows two male figures (a white farmer and an Indigenous man) in the foreground. They appear to be having a friendly conversation. Scenes like this gave viewers an inaccurate perspective of white settlers and American westward expansion.
- Jasper Francis Cropsey was part of the Hudson River School. This was a group of artists who painted landscapes of the mountains of New York and its neighboring states.
- Eagle Cliff is part of a mountain pass (called Franconia Notch) in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is shown above the log cabin in this painting.
This painting depicts a family homestead in the mountains of New Hampshire. When the country was expanding in the 1800s, many families moved westward. These families claimed a piece of land in the wilderness, built a house on it, and began farming. The land they claimed as their own was often already inhabited by Native peoples.
Jasper Francis Cropsey was an architect and a painter. He was a member of the Hudson River School, a group of landscape artists who painted the mountains of New York and surrounding areas. Hudson River School painters created detailed, realistic-looking landscapes. Their paintings portrayed idealized scenes of country life in which humans coexist peacefully with nature.
Cropsey created this landscape painting while he was living in London. His romanticized paintings of American landscapes were popular with British audiences. The scene in this painting made American westward expansion look more heroic and appealing than it actually was. It ignored the violence and injustice of forcing Native Americans off their land.
Eagle Cliff can be seen above the cabin in this painting. This peak is part of a mountain pass called Franconia Notch, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Cropsey visited the White Mountains in 1849.
Resources for Teachers
- Read an article about Cropsey.
- View and read about another painting by this artist.
- Read an article about the Abenaki people who traditionally inhabited the White Mountains.
Resources for Students