Architect's Dream Analysis

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Dream of Empire The visual representations of ruins by various painters have been reflections of the philosophical environments in which they lived, as well as their own contributions to the understanding of empire and ruins as a whole. These artists used techniques such scale, composition, spatial organization, iconography, and color to convey their ideas rather than words. As a result, the public understanding of ruins has evolved over time, both through literary works and visual ones, leading to self-reflection regarding the state of modern empires in comparison to those of the past. The representation of ruins in Thomas Cole's The Architect's Dream presents a bleak perspective of empire: that it is stagnant, declining, and temporary. Cole's use of spatial organization with the past in the background and the present in the foreground reflects the …show more content…
In depicting architecture, the portrayal of or absence of people is always important as the function of architecture always involves people. Outside of the Egyptian and Greek temples, there are many people, with some wearing white. These people seem to be practicing their religions, as evidenced by the fires and the lining up of people. Another example of human activity are the boats in the river, which is a reference to another one of Cole's works, The Course of Empire: Consummation, representing the golden ages and the importance of navigation to empire. This human activity is in contrast to the Gothic church, where no one is to be seen and no boats are harbored. This can be seen as the shift from religion as a public, grandiose, and celebratory activity to a more private activity. This portrayal creates a bleak view of empire, that people are aspiring for less, and that the dreams of humanity are diminishing as time goes

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