During his early career, Jonas Lie was influenced by the Ashcan painters’ portrayals of urban and industrial subjects. Path of Gold depicts an optimistic view of industrialization along New York City’s East River. Tugboats and barges with billowing smokestacks move toward a distant skyline. The Brooklyn Bridge, by then a symbol of progress and modernity, stretches across the river from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Lie painted this work from slightly above the boats heading upriver—a perspective that seems to include the viewer along the path to prosperity.