John Rubens Smith, Catskill Mountain-House: A Celebrated Summer Hotel..., aquatint with hand-coloring on paper, 1830, 19 x 14 ½ in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 55.785. View in Scrapbook
This view looking up South Mountain in the Catskills was frequently depicted in engravings and guidebook illustrations to give potential visitors an idea of the steep and rugged ascent to the mountaintop, often compared to a religious pilgrimage. Cole also depicted this view up the road, along with several other paintings of the hotel, during his career.
Smith's engraving promoted tourism in the Catskills by depicting well-dressed ladies and gentlemen enjoying the picturesque trails along the mountainside. 1 In general, Cole avoided depicting upper-class tourists in the Catskills, favoring images that embodied a wilderness aesthetic.