Thomas Cole's Journey: Atlantic Crossings

Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin and Tim Barringer with Dorothy Mahon, Christopher Riopelle, and Shannon Vittoria
2018
288 pages
254 illustrations
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Thomas Cole (1801–1848) is celebrated as the greatest American landscape artist of his generation. Though previous scholarship has emphasized the American aspects of his formation and identity, never before has the British-born artist been presented as an international figure, in direct dialogue with the major landscape painters of the age. Thomas Cole’s Journey emphasizes the artist’s travels in England and Italy from 1829 to 1832 and his crucial interactions with such painters as Turner and Constable. For the first time, it explores the artist’s most renowned paintings, The Oxbow (1836) and The Course of Empire cycle (1834–36), as the culmination of his European experiences and of his abiding passion for the American wilderness. The four essays in this lavishly illustrated catalogue examine how Cole’s first-hand knowledge of the British industrial revolution and his study of the Roman Empire positioned him to create works that offer a distinctive, even dissident, response to the economic and political rise of the United States, the ecological and economic changes then underway, and the dangers that faced the young nation. A detailed chronology of Cole’s life, focusing on his European tour, retraces the artist’s travels as documented in his journals, letters, and sketchbooks, providing new insight into his encounters and observations. With discussions of over seventy works by Cole, as well as by the artists he admired and influenced, this book allows us to view his work in relation to his European antecedents and competitors, demonstrating his major contribution to the history of Western art.

Met Art in Publication

South Street from Maiden Lane, New York, in 1828, William James Bennett  American, Aquatint
William James Bennett
1834
Plans, And Views in Perspective. With Descriptions, Of Buildings Erected In England and Scotland: and also an essay, to elucidate the Grecian, Roman and Gothic architecture, accompanied with designs., Robert Mitchell  British, Illustrations: etching and engraving
Robert Mitchell
1801
The Pyramid of Gaius Cestius, from Vedute di Roma (Roman Views), Giovanni Battista Piranesi  Italian, Etching; first state of three (Hind)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
ca. 1756
View Near Hudson (No. 15 (later No. 12) of The Hudson River Portfolio), John Hill  American, born England, Aquatint printed in color with hand-coloring; first state of three (Koke)
John Hill
1822
Hadleigh Castle: Large Plate, David Lucas  British, Mezzotint; trial proof
David Lucas
1830–49
Hadleigh Castle: Large Plate, David Lucas  British, Mezzotint; proof before letters
David Lucas
1830–32
A View near Tivoli (Morning), Thomas Cole  American, Oil on canvas, American
Thomas Cole
1832
The Titan's Goblet, Thomas Cole  American, Oil on canvas, American
Thomas Cole
1833
Sketch for View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm (The Oxbow), Thomas Cole  American, Oil and pencil on composition board, American
Thomas Cole
1836
View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, Thomas Cole  American, Oil on canvas, American
Thomas Cole
1836
View on the Catskill—Early Autumn, Thomas Cole  American, Oil on canvas, American
Thomas Cole
1836–37
Clouds, Thomas Cole  American, Oil on paper laid down on canvas, American
Thomas Cole
ca. 1838

Citation

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Kornhauser, Elizabeth Mankin, T. J. Barringer, Dorothy Mahon, Christopher Riopelle, Shannon Vittoria, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), and National Gallery (Great Britain), eds. 2018. Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.