In the mid-nineteenth century, increasing numbers of Americans began to travel in search of dramatic scenery. The Catskills, easily accessible from New York City, were an early and popular destination for many tourists. The Catskills' Mountain House offered a perfect setting from which to view the spectacular sunrise, as depicted here. The morning sky blazes with oranges and yellows, which are reflected in the Hudson River in the middle distance. A man, nearly dwarfed by nature's pageantry, is the sole human presence in this pristine setting. Older artists shied away from trying to capture this famous tourist scene in paint, but twenty-two-year-old Frederic Church rose to the challenge with this confidently painted work.