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Alvan Fisher
A General View of the Falls of Niagara
1820
oil
34 3/8 x 48 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum



Windblown trees, Native Americans, and sightseers in top hats and tailcoats enliven the foreground, but the giant cataracts with their inexhaustible flow of water are Fisher's focus. Niagara Falls was America's most celebrated natural attraction in the nineteenth century. Millions visited the site, which became a national icon.