Scottish landscape painter Aitken studied in Glasgow under the academician and landscape painter McCulloch, an artist who specialized in evocative scenes of the Scottish Highlands, painted in a Romantic mode. After a period in Dublin, Aitken returned to Scotland, settling in Glasgow in 1872. This painting is a near copy, although somewhat in reduced scale, of Church’s famous monumental painting Niagara Falls, from the American Side of 1867 (Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh). Church was the outstanding American artist of the age, with an international reputation as a landscape painter, and his pictures were acclaimed in London. His Niagara was purchased in 1887 by John S. Kennedy, who gifted it to his homeland of Scotland.