The Fountain, No. 1: The Wounded Indian Slaking His Death Thirst

Thomas Cole American

Not on view

Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of landscape painting, drew this study for a series (never realized) of paintings based on William Cullen Bryant’s poem “The Fountain” (1839). The poem evokes several eras of American civilization through incidents that occur at a forest stream. In this scene, a wounded brave (modeled after the Hellenistic sculpture known as the "Dying Gaul," which Cole had seen in Rome) symbolizes the plight of many American Indians in an era of forced relocation.

Bryant’s verse reads in part: "I behold/The Indian warrior, whom a hand unseen/Has smitten with his death-wound in the woods,
/Creep slowly to thy well-known rivulet,/And slake his death-thirst."

The Fountain, No. 1: The Wounded Indian Slaking His Death Thirst, Thomas Cole (American, Lancashire 1801–1848 Catskill, New York), Graphite and white gouache on green wove paper, American

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.