Avid art collectors, Austin and Susan Dickinson used their home to display their prized pieces. In a letter to Samuel Bowles in December 1861, Susan wrote, “Austin came home [from New York] in a feverish excitement over pictures—utterly worn out with his passion—The real fact of the matter is his desire and half plan for three of the Dusseldorf collection—He is fascinated with the longing, and I advise him to get them. . . .” Austin purchased two paintings from the Dusseldorf Academy of Fine Arts shown at the Dusseldorf Gallery in New York in 1862, including the large work pictured here, Norwegian Landscape with Bears painted in 1848 by Hans Frederick Gude.
Jay Leyda, ed., Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1960), 2:41.