Thomas Cole Essay

2083 Words 9 Pages
THOMAS COLE

Landscape painting was extremely important during the middle of the nineteenth century. One of the leading practitioners of landscape painters in America was Thomas Cole. He visited many places seeking the “natural” world to which he might utilize his direct observations to convey the untainted nature by man to his audience. His works resolved to find goodness in American land and to help Americans take pride in their unique geological features created by God. Thomas Cole inspired many with his brilliant works by offering satisfaction to those seeking the “truth” (realism) through the works of others.

Thomas Cole was born on February 1, 1801 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. Due to financial problems his family endured, Cole,
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The Hudson River School became an important part of the American culture and would come to introduce many leading artist such as Asher Brown Durand and Thomas Doughty, as well as the second generation of artists such as Frederick Edwin Church, Sanford Gifford, and Albert Bierstadt. These artists shared a common background. Most notably, they were Romantic Realists who found great wonders in the countryside of the New World. They searched the Hudson Valley and areas of New England to find unique images of America. With the influence of famous works of literature from those such as Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, and Bryant, these “realists” combined detailed panoramic images with moralistic insights. They perceived the landscape as having a feeling of hopefulness, divinity, and harmony.

Many neighboring countries had crushed America during the time of war and peace. Since that time, Americans yearned to see their nation survive. In his paintings, Cole seems to focus on an ideal America. He demonstrated this by painting vistas that combined both idealism and realism. He impressed several of his colleagues by demonstrating a painter of landscape that possessed strength and determination. And more notably, an artist willing to conquer the hazards of weather and terrain in an attempt to achieve success.

In the beginning of the 1800’s, artists such as Thomas Cole painted pictures of the East,

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