Medium

Romantic landscape painter Thomas Cole, who emigrated from England at the age of seventeen, inspired a generation of American landscape painters known as the Hudson River School. Settling in the Catskill Mountains of New York, Cole strove to represent the majesty of the American wilderness, symbolic of the country’s pioneering history and ideals of freedom. For The Oxbow (1836), Cole meticulously sketched directly from nature (known as en plein air) before composing the painting in his studio. In addition to his American landscapes, Cole is also famous for his dramatic depictions of Classical ruins in Italy and imagined vistas, such as the L’Allegro (1845) and Il Penseroso (1845) that allude to the poetry of the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608-1674).

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions
2021
The Historic Hudson River School: American InnovationQuestroyal Fine Art
2018
Artistic Encounters with Indigenous AmericaThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
2017
Wild Spaces, Open Seasons: Hunting and Fishing in American ArtAmon Carter Museum of American Art
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The Past, 1838

Oil on canvas
Location
Amherst
Medium

Romantic landscape painter Thomas Cole, who emigrated from England at the age of seventeen, inspired a generation of American landscape painters known as the Hudson River School. Settling in the Catskill Mountains of New York, Cole strove to represent the majesty of the American wilderness, symbolic of the country’s pioneering history and ideals of freedom. For The Oxbow (1836), Cole meticulously sketched directly from nature (known as en plein air) before composing the painting in his studio. In addition to his American landscapes, Cole is also famous for his dramatic depictions of Classical ruins in Italy and imagined vistas, such as the L’Allegro (1845) and Il Penseroso (1845) that allude to the poetry of the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608-1674).

Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
Selected exhibitions (3)
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