Alexander Helwig Wyant
American, 1836 – 1892
Falls of the Ohio, Louisville, 1863
Oil on canvas
40 × 56 in. (101.6 × 142.2 cm.)
51 1/2 × 67 1/2 in. (130.8 × 171.5 cm.) (Frame)
Gift of Mrs. Lewis C. Humphrey in memory of her grandfather, William Burke Belknap
Restored in part by income from the Marguerite Montgomery Memorial Trust, 2015 1948.33

Portrait of Place
Originally named “The Falls of the Ohio” for the nearby rapids on the Ohio River, Louisville was a highly industrialized city when this canvas was painted, as the smokestacks rising in the distance illustrate. Urban views such as this were a popular landscape subject during the late 1800s among citizens who were proud of  their town’s growth and development. Wyant grew up outside of Cincinnati. Between trips to New York and Europe to study, he spent the 1860s traveling from Connecticut to Tennessee painting. Louisville businessman William Burke Belknap may have commissioned Wyant to paint this view of Louisville while the artist worked in Kentucky.