Painted during the first year of the Civil War, this idyllic view of a farm near Dobb’s Ferry, New York, proclaimed to Northern viewers the success of an agricultural system in which farmers worked their own land. The American flag hanging beside the homestead subtly alludes to the war. Such a scene was thus a critique of Southern slavery. Yet the beauty of the landscape, the wagon carrying a bountiful harvest of hay and the long afternoon shadows, also offers an optimistic image of harmony between man and nature.
(Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art).