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Falls of the Passaic

William Guy Wall

American Art

The Irish-born William Guy Wall arrived in New York City in 1818 and quickly established himself as a successful landscapist. His watercolors often served as the basis for engraved reproductions that helped to popularize American landscape imagery. This work depicts a distant view of the seventy-foot-high waterfall on New Jersey’s Passaic River, a landmark renowned for its aesthetic beauty and awesome force (hydropowered manufacturing first developed along this river). In the English tradition, Wall applied layers of wash to capture reflections on the river, and he added human figures to provide scale to the scene.
MEDIUM Transparent watercolor with touches of opaque watercolor over graphite on cream, moderately thick, moderately textured wove paper mounted to Japanese paper
DATES ca. 1820
DIMENSIONS 17 3/8 x 24 in. (44.1 x 61 cm) Frame: 28 x 36 x 1 1/2 in. (71.1 x 91.4 x 3.8 cm)
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
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