Wilderness Landscape Study

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Thomas Cole
19th century
Oil on paper laid down on board.
6 x 9 inches (152 x 229 mm)
Thaw Collection, Jointly Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Michael N. Altman, in honor of Eugene V. Thaw, 2014.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848) was born in Lancashire, England and moved to Ohio with his family when he was seventeen. This move saw Cole's surroundings change from an industrialized town to a natural wilderness. Inspired by nature Cole began producing works in the late 1820s. Largely self taught, he became the leading painter of landscapes during the first half of the 19th. Cole had significant influence on the artists of the Hudson River School. In his later career he traveled to Italy and produced paintings and drawings of the Roman campagna. Although primarily known for his landscape works, Cole also produced a number of works with religious themes. In Wilderness Landscape Study Cole presents a view onto a craggy wilderness with a rocky outcrop and a small stream surrounded by boulder. The vividly painted sky, that is significantly darker on the left, suggests that a change in the weather is imminent. This study shows Cole's ability to depict form and create atmosphere through paint.

Michael N. Altman.