The smallest and westernmost of the eleven Finger Lakes of New York State, Conesus Lake was a popular summer resort visited frequently by Kensett to socialize with Robert M. Olyphant, one of his ardent friends and patrons, who owned a home there. The artist's portrayal of the scene, a counterpoint of lake surface and recumbent terrain supporting towering trees, creates a classic stage suited to the genteel parties—boating, picnicking, promenading, or simply relaxing—in and out of the groves sheltering the bank. Kensett's artistic training in Britain in the 1840s seems revealed by the evocation here of earlier English views along the Thames River, for example, below Richmond Hill.
Signature: [at lower right]: JF. [monogram] K. '70
Marking: [stamped on canvas on the back]: GOUPIL'S / 772 / BROADWAY, NY
Benjamin Nathan, New York, 1870–died 1873; his wife, New York, 1873–died 1880; sale, Leavitt Art Galleries, New York, 10 Feb. 1880, no. 62; Mrs. Arabella Duval (Yarrington) Worsham, New York, 1880–1884; Collis P. Huntington, New York, 1884–died 1900, subject to the interest of his wife, the former Mrs. Worsham, and her son, Archer M. Huntington, until 1925