Scene on the Hudson (Rip Van Winkle)

Media - 1968.138 - SAAM-1968.138_1 - 67232
Copied James Hamilton, Scene on the Hudson (Rip Van Winkle), 1845, oil on canvas, 3857 18 in. (96.6145.1 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1968.138
Free to use

Artwork Details

Scene on the Hudson (Rip Van Winkle)
Not on view
3857 18 in. (96.6145.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Animal — dog
  • Landscape — forest
  • Landscape — New York
  • Figure male — full length
  • Landscape — river — Hudson River
  • Literature — Irving — Rip Van Winkle
Object Number

Artwork Description

Hamilton's painting combines several scenes from Washington Irving's short story. The hazy river valley beyond the trees evokes the Catskills, where Rip Van Winkle looked out over the Hudson River "moving on its silent but majestic course." Beneath the cavernous rock, several men enjoy a game of ninepins while Rip drinks the brew that will make him sleep for twenty years and awake to a different world. Irving wrote his stories for sophisticated urban Americans, whose fast-moving culture, fed by the nation’s industrialization, was displacing the rural society of the old Dutch Knickerbockers of the Hudson Valley.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006