Our eyes are drawn toward the central section of the picture just above the horizon where the sunlight is radiating from behind the clouds creating pleasing yellow and pink light effects. The warm tones of the reflected light, and the pleasing colours of the scene remind us of the beauty of nature. The clouds, and the mountains create a window or frame that allow us to view the distant mountain range.

As our eyes are naturally drawn down, a slight section of the cloud is visibly reflected in the water. When we have absorbed the inspiring and warming landscape it is only subsequently that greater detail becomes visible within the picture. In the lake, two small boys can be observed in a boat. The boys are perhaps fishing as one is clearly showing the other a fish that he has caught. Beyond the boys in the boat, a clearing among the abundant forested area is visible. In the clearing a herd of cows can be seen, several are grazing whilst others are laying down. It is only now that we realise that this is a scene not just of nature, but of human activity.

A tiny house party obscured by trees becomes visible. On the right side of the house a window glows either from a light inside or perhaps reflected from the sun also there is just the faint suggestion of a whisper of smoke rising from the chimney. A female figure is visible in front of the house, she may be watching over the children ensuring their safety or more likely if this is a sunset, she is calling the children for food that is keeping warm on the fire that is creating the smoke.

With the obvious domestic situation, the picture has changed from its first appearance of a warming natural landscape to one of an inspiring and idyllic family environments. The picture was displayed in an exhibition at the New York National Academy of Design in 1854. A Country Home proved immensely popular and became one of Churches greatest acclaimed works both at the time and now. Church had travelled to what at the time were considered exotic locations it was, however, the rural place and simple remote living as shown by this picture on the banks of the Hudson River that he found so appealing, and indeed inspired him to buy a house close by.

A Country Home in Detail Frederic Edwin Church