Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
Date: c. 1829
Medium: Sepia wash over pencil with white heightening
Dimensions: 10 3/8 H x 7 5/8 W

Inscribed, top, center: Niagara; Signed, lower left: TC

Provenance: Descended in the Cole Family to Mrs. Florence H.Cole Vincent, the artist's granddaughter.
Credit: Gift of Mrs. Florence Cole Vincent
Accession Number: 1958.28.12

The framing lines in pencil suggest that this composition was made in preparation for another, more finished work, possibly a print. Around 1828-1829, Cole made a drawing on stone for a lithograph, Falls at Catskill. Cole spent several days at Niagara Falls during May 1829. The technique of using a brush dipped in brown wash is unusual for Cole, and he relied on a pencil underdrawing to guide his brush. To suggest the spray billowing up from the falls in the distance, he rubbed the color off with a finger or rag to expose the white paper.