Painted in 1856, Cropsey’s first Susquehanna scene, An American Autumn Scene on the Susquehanna River, was prominently displayed in the artist’s London studio, and his frequent return to the subject demonstrates the popular demand in England for images of the autumnal American landscape. “To add a degree of veracity to this effect, Cropsey even went so far as to paste on cardboard preserved leaves in their autumn color, placing them next to the painting" (Peter Bermingham, Jasper F. Cropsey 1823-1900: A Retrospective View of America’s Painter of Autumn, College Park, Maryland, 1968, p. 27).
According to Dr. Kenneth Maddox, “In 1861 Cropsey not only painted this version [Indian Summer on the Susquehanna, the present work] and Autumn on the Susquehanna, 1861, but on January 20 he also sold a study, Autumn on the Susquehanna… Cropsey painted about thirty canvases of the Susquehanna, and some views are quite different from his first 1856 version” (Jaasper Francis Cropsey: Catalogue Raisonné, Works in Oil 1842-1863, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, 2013, vol. I, no. 664, pp. 357). As the dominant tonality of the English landscape in autumn is green-brown, these scenes of the Susquehanna River in their full array of reds, yellows, and oranges were visually compelling to Cropsey’s English clientele.
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