Thomas Cole created the Romantic tradition of landscape painting in America known as the Hudson River School. Born in England, he moved with his family to America in 1819 and quickly became entranced by the majestic wilderness of his new homeland. Initially taught by a journeyman painter called Stein, he went on to study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1825, his landscapes caught the eye of John Trumball and Asher B. Durand, who promoted the young artist within New York society. Cole spent the next few years painting up in the mountains that ran along the Hudson River. Financial success allowed him to take a Grand Tour of Europe, which inspired within his work grander classical themes of imperial decline and the collapse of civilisations. His paintings warn of the damage wrought on nature by industrialisation. Indeed, he believed the unspoiled American landscape was under threat from so-called ‘progress’, which makes his depictions of its beauty all the more powerful.
A Trio of Majestic Landscapes
In this series, the curatorial team presents one work from the Meural art library we find essential. (See all installments.)…