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Alvan Fisher
The Great Horseshoe Fall, Niagara
1820
oil
34 3/8 x 48 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum



Spanning the canvas from the sweep of clouds to the rainbow arcing into the water spray, Alvan Fisher's view of Niagara Falls conveys the amazing spectacle of this natural wonder. Underscoring the immediacy of the scene, young men are posed at the brink, a dog is silhouetted against the water, and a young woman covers her ears to block out the water's thunderous roar.