Thomas Cole


This engraving by James Smillie measures 15 x 22 3/4 inches. Created after four paintings by Hudson River School founder Thomas Cole, this early lettered proof impression, published in Boston by L.A. Elliot, reads, "From the original Painting by Thomas Cole, in the possession of Rev.d Gorham D. Abbott, Spingler Institute, New York", under the title on the lower margin. Also included on the lower margin is a poem by J.H. Daniels. In 1842 Thomas Cole did a series of paintings that represented an allegory for the four stages of life; childhood, youth, manhood, and old age. Each phase accompanied by a guardian angel. In "Old Age" the voyager is looking across the river of life towards an angel filled sky, ready to enter the kingdom of heaven. Cole's paintings were converted to engravings after his death and widely distributed during "The Third Awakening", a period of religious activism from the late 1850's to the early 1900's.