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From the eighteenth century on, Niagara Falls was among the most iconic symbols of American might and cultural potential. Its meaning shifts in this painting by Louis Rémy Mignot, a Southerner forced to abandon his rising New York career due to the outbreak of the Civil War. Mignot moved to London, where he painted this work the year after the war’s close. He pointedly chose an atypical view, facing the Canadian, rather than the American, side of the falls.
Gift of Arthur S. Fairchild / Bridgeman Images