Born in Philadelphia and working by 1814 in the leather trade, Thomas Doughty studied painting and lithography at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, adopting this as his new career in 1820. Among the first of a group of early 19th century American artists to concentrate solely on landscape painting to the exclusion of history and portrait painting, Doughty was quickly recognized for his successful topographical celebrations of Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire and Maine. Doughty's first commission was completed in 1821 for Robert Gilmor, a wealthy Baltimore native and one of this country's earliest civic minded patrons of the arts (see Rogers, "Classicism and Culture in Maryland, 1815-1845" Classical Maryland, 1815-1845 (Baltimore, 1993), pp. 11-13). The resulting landscape was a view of Gilmor's home, Beech Hill. By 1822, Doughty was a regular exhibitor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
Soon after his decision to become an artist, Doughty won membership to several professional organizations. In 1824, he was elected a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and in 1827, Doughty was made an Honorary Member, Professional, of the National Academy. Doughty exhibited consistently throughout the eastern seaboard at the Pennsylvania Academy, Boston Athenaeum, American Academy, National Academy, Maryland Historical Society. His work was also exhibited at the British Institution, Royal Academy and the Society of British Artists in London and the Paris Salon in 1847, and sold to the Apollo Association and American Art Union.
Despite extended trips to Baltimore, Washington, Boston and New York City, Doughty resided in Philadelphia until 1832 when he moved to Boston. In 1837, Doughty moved to England briefly where he continued to study and paint. On his return in 1838, Doughty lived briefly in New York City, and in 1839-40 lived in Newburgh, New York when it is thought the painting illustrated here may have been completed. During the 1840s and early 1850s, Doughty traveled extensively, returning to Europe in 1845-1848, travelling to Washington, New Orleans and throughout New York state. He lived briefly in western New York between 1852 and 1854, but returned to New York City where he died in 1856. See Groce & Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860, (New York, 1952), p. 185-186; Sewell, et al. Philadelphia: Three Centuries of American Art (Philadelphia: 1976), pp. 272-273.