Niagara Falls (Chute d'eau de Niagara)

Niagara Falls (Chute d'eau de Niagara), 1698

after Louis Hennepin

  • 2006:001.004
  • engraving-second state
  • A New Discovery of a vast Country in America
  • London: Bentley, Tonson, Bonwick, Goodwin, and Manship
  • 7 x 7 1/2 in.
  • Framed: 11 1/2 x 12 7/8 in.
  • Collection of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Generous Donation from Dr. Charles Rand Penney, partially funded by the Castellani Purchase Fund, with additional funding from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Lytle, 2006
The earliest known depiction of Niagara Falls is this print by an unidentified Dutch printmaker for the publication of Louis Hennepin’s travelogue. Based on the Franciscan friar’s description of the area’s geography, the image is not completely accurate. It does succeed in showing the extent of the expansive landscape containing the Niagara River and its two enormous falls, and provided Europeans with a glimpse of the natural wonders of the New World. Numerous representations by other artists were produced over the years based on this early image.