The painting does not have the railroad construction in it, but he wanted to paint the landscape to show how the place looked like before deforestation took place. The painting has a small warning on the left-hand corner. This warning is a tree stump that has been cut down. On the foreground, you will see a woman and a child enjoying the lush green landscape. It seems to be a great relationship between the natural environment and the people who are enjoying the atmosphere. Cole hoped that the beautiful relationship between man and the environment would continue for years.
Cole could see the view that he painted from his Cedar Grove porch. There are horses on the right side of the painting that are running from their master. This indicates a weakness in man to control the environment. There is also a mother who has a bouquet of wildflowers for her baby on the foreground. This might probably a response towards his marriage to Maria Bartow. There is the Van Vechten family old stone that is a symbol of the rural society that used to reside in Catskill. The house was purchased by the president of Canajoharie and Catskill Railroad in 1840 where the railroad passed.
There is a man who is in a rowboat. He seems to be at peace, enjoying nature and going about his business. There is a hunter dressed in a hat who is standing close to a fence looking at the mother and her child who are on the foreground. Although this image may symbolize man's control over nature, some historians argue that this is a self-portrait of Cole. If you look at one of his paintings called The Oxbow, you will also see a man dressed in a hat.
Cole's painting process in transforming his sketches into landscape composition can be seen in this painting. Cole was intentional in capturing the splendor of the Catskill Creek. He created a nostalgic vision through pencil sketches. Although he painted a faithful picture of the landscape, he adopted the pastoral landscape artistic conventions. For instance, the framing of trees on the foreground, harmonizing the elements of the landscape, and framing the foreground trees. The painting is a great piece of art that shows the Catskill landscape that seems to have matured over time before it was destroyed. The View on the Catskill, Early Autumn is an oil canvas that resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.