Opening Lecture: Thomas Cole's Voyage Of Life

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Opening Lecture: Thomas Cole's Voyage Of Life
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Dixon Gallery and Gardens says
'Thomas Cole's Voyage of Life: the Creation and Legacy of an American Masterpiece'
By Dr. Paul D. Schweizer, Museum Director Emeritus, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute

Thomas Cole was at the height of his artistic powers in 1839 when he was commissioned to paint four large allegorical paintings titled, The Voyage of Life. During Cole's lifetime, the series was hailed as his greatest achievement. In addition to painting a full-sized replica set in Rome in 1842, the series inspired Cole to compose a four-part poem based on the pictures. Several other pictures he planned or painted during the final years of his life were also influenced by the series. Although the allegorical landscape style that Cole used in The Voyage of Life was disparaged less than a decade after the artist's death in 1848, the series itself continued to influence American popular culture into the waning decades of the nineteenth century. Free with museum admission

Image Detail: Thomas Cole, 'The Voyage of Life: Manhood,' 1840, Oil on canvas. On Loan, St. Louis Art Museum (19 Jun 2015)
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By: Dixon Gallery and Gardens

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