This landscape painting depicts a rocky hillside beneath a blue sky and towering cloud formations. In the foreground area, a stream flows between boulders and cascades over rocks. There is a large square boulder with the roots and stump of a dead tree. The right side of the painting has green vegetation along the edege of the stream and tall green-leafed trees further back on the side of the hill. On the left, beyond the hill, there is a glimpse of far distant mountains. This scene is painted in warm tones of green and brown in a realistic manner. Patches of sunlight highlight areas of the hillside, boulders and the stream.
Thomas Cole was an important American landscape painter during the 1820s and a key figure in the Hudson River school of painting. Cole became famous for painting scenes of the American wilderness following a sketching trip up the Hudson river in 1825. This scene of the Catskill Mountains in New York state shows the rocky terrain of the area, with its rushing stream and craggy boulders, set against a light blue sky and towering clouds.