Must I tell you that neither the Alps nor the Apennines, no, nor even Aetna itself, have dimmed, in my eyes, the beauty of our own Catskills? It seems to me that I look on American scenery, if it were possible, with increased pleasure. It has its own peculiar charm – a something not found elsewhere. I am content with nature: would that I were with art!
Cole, one of the founders of the Hudson River School of painting famously made this declaration in the early 19th century soon after returning from a grand tour through Italy and England.
The luscious green hills, mountains, and rivers of New York’s Catskills gave Cole ample cause to be inspired, even in comparison with the more traditionally fawned-over landscapes of Italy and England.
Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, you can see for yourself what Cole is talking about in his beautiful interpretations of the 19th century Catskills.