Gustav Grunewald was a member of the Moravian religious community of Gnadau, Germany. In 1831 he left to join the sect’s settlement at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He first traveled to Niagara Falls on a sketching trip in 1832; he would go on to paint and exhibit the subject at least 11 times. For the Moravians, nature presented evidence of God. For this reason, Niagara Falls would have held spiritual significance for Grunewald and his community.