martes, 23 de mayo de 2017
EL VERIFICADOR || Christa Zaat
Thomas Cole (British-born American artist) 1801 - 1848
The Voyage of Life - 1 - Childhood, 1839-40
oil on canvas
134.3 x 195.3 cm. (52 7/8 x 76 7/8 in.)
Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute of Art, Utica, New York. United States of America
Unlike Cole’s first major series, The Course of Empire, which focused on the stages of civilization as a whole, The Voyage of Life series is a more personal, Christian allegory that interprets visually the journey of man through four stages of life: infancy, youth, manhood and old age. Done on commission, the finished works generated a disagreement with the owner about a public exhibition. In 1842 when Cole was in Rome he did a second set of the series which on his return to America was shown to acclaim. The first set is at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York, the second set is at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
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In the first painting, Childhood, all the important story elements of the series are introduced: the voyager, the angel, the river, and the expressive landscape. An infant is safely ensconced in a boat guided by an angel. The landscape is lush; everything is calm and basking in warm sunshine, reflecting the innocence and joy of childhood. The boat glides out of a dark, craggy cave which Cole himself described as "emblematic of our earthly origin, and the mysterious Past." The river is smooth and narrow, symbolizing the sheltered experience of childhood. The figurehead on the prow holds an hourglass representing time.
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Thomas Cole was an English-born American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole's Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism and naturalism.