Asher B. Durand evoked the philosophical idea of the Beautiful in the harmony, serenity and loveliness of this pastoral landscape of Welch Mountain, New Hampshire. He achieved these qualities by depicting the foreground with a fine brush to give remarkable detail, rendering the middle ground more sketchily and incorporating a number of flat, broadly painted areas of soft lavenders and blues in the background. Bright light and shadow play across the entire view, which is enveloped in a hazy atmosphere. A successful engraver, Durand did not turn to painting as a career until he was 40. After Thomas Cole's death in 1848, he became the acknowledged leader of the group of American landscape painters commonly called the Hudson River School.