Thomas Cole (1 February 1801, Bolton-le-moors, Lancashire, England – 11 February 1848, Catskill, New York), American artist known for his highly romantic landscapes and fantastical historical/allegorical tableaux, he is also regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School. Born in England, his family emigrated to the United States in 1818, settling in Steubenville, Ohio. At the age of twenty-two he moved to Philadelphia, and two years later, to New York City with his family. Cole found work early on as an engraver. By 1822 he had started his career as a portrait painter, but gradually shifted his focus to landscape painting. He also painted - and is probably best remembered for - grand allegorical works. The most famous of these is the five-part series, The Course of Empire, which depicts the same landscape over a long span of time - from its nearly natural state to the culmination and triumph of empire, then its subsequent decline and ruin - and the four-part The Voyage of Life, featured here. He was largely self-taught as a painter, relying on books and by studying the work of other artists, but was very much an influence on other painters, especially Asher B. Durand and Frederic Edwin Church. Cole went abroad several times, spending years at a time traveling in Europe, mainly in England and Italy. From 1827 he maintained a studio at a farm in the town of Catskill, New York, and nine years later he married a niece of the farm's owner; together they had five children. He became a year-round resident of Catskill, and a significant portion of his work was completed in his studio there. He died there, only ten days after his forty-seventh birthday.
|Gorgeous boat. (Just watch out for all the poke-y wings.)|
|I'm guessing these botanical specimens are not all entirely correct...?|
|Perhaps a vision of heaven...?|
|At a time like this - about to go over the falls - less praying, more steering might be the way to go. Oh, but it looks like he's lost his tiller....|
|If you look up into the clouds and see something like this, it's probably a bad sign.|
|The boat of life has lost its angel figurehead along with the hourglass it held.....|
|Little angels almost invisible in the heavenly radiance.|