Sketch for View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm (The Oxbow)
Thomas Cole (American, Lancashire 1801–1848 Catskill, New York)
Made in United States
Oil and pencil on composition board
5 1/2 x 9 3/8 in. (14 x 23.8 cm)
Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Delancey Thorn Grant, in memory of her mother, Louise Floyd-Jones Thorn, by exchange and Friends of the American Wing Fund, 2014
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 759
Cole inspired many of his colleagues, including his most important student, Frederic Edwin Church, to take up plein-air painting or sketching in pencil or oils. For Cole, the act of sketching outdoors went hand in hand with the close study of nature and was an essential tool in the creation of a significant studio painting. For The Oxbow, Cole made a pencil sketch on site and later painted this small oil sketch in his studio as he worked to establish the composition, color balance, and internal rhythm of the scene. A squiggle of paint at the lower right appears almost human—perhaps a first suggestion of the artist’s presence in the landscape, as seen in his self-portrait in the final canvas (acc. no. 08.228).
With Kennedy Galleries, New York, by 1964; to Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Feld, New York, before 1998 (held in their private collection); to Michael Altman, Bedford, New York, by 2010 to present.