Collection of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Gift of the Artist, 2006
Wolf Kahn’s interest in depicting scenes of Niagara Falls was ignited after he first viewed Frederic Edwin Church’s large 1857 masterpiece, Niagara. Kahn understood the mid-19th century American landscape artist’s desire to produce a truthful representation of nature, but it was Church’s ability to capture the sublime, especially in the dramatic contrasts of light and dark that drew Kahn’s own interest. With 21st century eyes, Kahn set out to capture on canvas what he calls “an emotional accuracy” of the falls, using strong contrasts, expansive shapes, and invented color. His composition expresses the essence of the magnificent waterfall without the descriptive detail of earlier masters of landscape painting.