A prolific painter of landscapes, Edward B. Gay immigrated to America with his parents in the wake of the Irish Potato Famine in 1848. Arriving in Albany, New York, the family's situation required him to go to work as a young boy. When he displayed a talent for drawing, he began study with select local painters, including George Boughton and the Hart brothers. In 1862, he went to Karlsruhe, Germany to continue his education under the conventional historical painters Johann Schirmer and Karl Frederich Lessing. Gay, whose work defied strict categorization, believed the time there ill spent and returned to the United States in 1864.
Gay ultimately settled with his family in Mount Vernon, New York, where he painted the area's bucolic farmland, pastures and orchards. A summer home in upstate New York provided additional subject matter for his brush, as did regular trips to Europe and at least one visit to the South Carolina Lowcountry, as evidenced by this atmospheric canvas.
The artist’s work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Academy of Design, New-York Historical Society, and Gibbes Museum of Art.