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1. Cole often achieved his greatest successes by painting scenes of autumn in the Catskills, because the brilliance of the colors impressed not only foreign audiences, but domestic critics and patrons as well.
2. This view looks east to the Hudson River Valley, with the Berkshire Mountains in the distance.
3. As a way of indicating natural cycles of growth and decay, Cole often framed his works with a dead or broken tree on the edge of the canvas.
4. As in Falls of the Kaaterskill, Cole used the lone figure of a Native American to lend an air of authenticity to the wild scene and to set it in a time before commercial exploitation of the wilderness.
5. Cole often used storm clouds to heighten drama. Here, the black storm clouds overhead, contrasted with the bright sky in the distance, represent the emotions associated with viewing a sublime scene: the sky simultaneously speaks of fear and hope, danger and exaltation.