His landscapes are spare, poetic meditations steeped in atmosphere. Painting into the 1920s, he increasingly suffused his arrangements of natural elements with a golden radiance suggestive of a spiritual sensibility. His subject is usually common scenery - everyday scraps of nature: pastures gone to seed, tall, thin scraggly trees, collapsing rock walls, fences, and stumps. But he wonderfully half-dissolves his forms in the airy atmosphere he builds around them (for all their subjects' gauziness, these paintings's surfaces are quite thick with substantial layers of paint).
Like so many of the Tonalists who followed in George Inness's footsteps, Crane spent time in Europe where he was awed by the compositions and moods of Barbizon painting. Inness, it seems, had articulated a vision of nature very like Crane's some years before.
The above painting is by Crane. In mood, tone, and even somewhat in composition it recalls a well-known Inness depicting a lone figure making its way through scrappy snow on Christmas Eve (below).
Another Inness in which Crane could have found inspiration for his own work.
I'll return to Crane another day to really get into some of his most interesting later work.