George Bellows‘ “Rain on the River,” from 1908, depicts the gray Hudson and its smoky railroad high above Riverside Park under a foreboding sky.
“His view from a rockly ledge above Riverside Park surveys a freight train making its way along the New York Central’s famous Water Level Route,” states the caption to this painting, which belongs to the Rhode Island School of Design museum.
“The string of railcars echoes the rushing diagonal that marks the near bank of the Hudson River. Aggressive brushstrokes indicate reflective surfaces that are animated by graphic observations: a lone pedestrian scurries acros a rain-slicked path, and a horse-drawn cart awaits a delivery of scavenged coal.”
The caption goes on to say that Bellows considered this one “one of my most beautiful things.”