By the time he made this painting, Thomas Cole was a prominent landscape painter with many eager patrons. To meet the demand, he began making regular summer sketching trips and amassing a stockpile of drawings. It was from one of those summer drawing trips that this painting emerged. Lake Winnepesaukee is a large, irregularly shaped, freshwater lake twenty-two miles long in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Its name was the subject of numerous Native American legends and was thought to have various meanings including "the smile of the Great Spirit" and "beautiful water in a high place." This landscape is part of the Albany Institute's premier collection of more than 500 works by Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River school of painting.