Doughty is renowned as the first American artist to devote himself to landscape painting, and regarded as an initiator of the native American landscape school. Despite receiving virtually no formal artistic training, Doughty developed his talent and formed own style by copying landscapes by the European masters. He accessed these at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and in the collection of his early patron Robert Gilmor. Doughty took the established conventions of atmospheric European painting and applied them to the American landscape. His paintings were not strictly topographical scenes, but harmonious celebrations of the American land, suffused with nature’s sublime effects. They are often intimate, pastoral scenes where the line between the real and the idealised is blurred.