martes, 23 de mayo de 2017
PORTAL NO UMBRAL || Christa Zaat
Thomas Cole (British-born American artist) 1801 - 1848
The Voyage of Life - 2 - Youth, 1840
oil on canvas
134.3 x 194.9 cm. (52 7/8 x 76 3/4 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 second painting, Youth, shows the same rich, green landscape, but here the view widens as does the voyager's experience. Now the youth grabs the tiller firmly as the angel watches and waves from the shore, allowing him to take control. The boy's enthusiasm and energy is evident in his forward-thrusting pose and billowing clothes. In the distance, a ghostly castle hovers in the sky, a white and shimmering beacon that represents the ambitions and dreams of man.
To the youth, the calm river seems to lead straight to the castle, but at the far right of the painting one can just glimpse the river as it becomes rough, choppy, and full of rocks. Cole comments on the landscape and the youth's ambitions: "The scenery of the picture—its clear stream, its lofty trees, its towering mountains, its unbounded distance, and transparent atmosphere—figure forth the romantic beauty of youthful imaginings, when the mind elevates the Mean and Common into the Magnificent, before experience teaches what is the Real."
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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.