martes, 23 de mayo de 2017
ETERNIDAD LATERAL || Christa Zaat
Thomas Cole (British-born American artist) 1801 - 1848
The Voyage of Life - 4 - Old Age, 1842
oil on canvas
133.4 x 196.2 cm. (52 1/2 x 77 1/4 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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The final painting, Old Age, is an image of death. The man has grown old; he has survived the trials of life. The waters have calmed; the river flows into the waters of eternity. The figurehead and hourglass are missing from the battered boat; the withered old voyager has reached the end of earthly time. In the distance, angels are descending from heaven, while the guardian angel hovers close, gesturing toward the others. The man is once again joyous with the knowledge that faith has sustained him through life. The landscape is practically gone, just a few rough rocks represent the edge of the earthly world, and dark water stretches onward. Cole describes the scene: "The chains of corporeal existence are falling away; and already the mind has glimpses of Immortal Life."
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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.