Sunrise in the Catskills by Thomas Cole

Title: Sunrise in the Catskills
Date: 1826
Movement: Naturalism
Media: oil on canvas
Current Location: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA

In 1826, after a summer spent painting and sketching in the Catskills Cole completed ‘Sunrise in the Catskills’ in the December. The painting depicts the sunrise from Vly Mountain. A peak near the Delaware River’s eastern headwaters. It puts the viewer in a daringly elevated vantage point looking out at several other mountains and at the mist filled valleys in the morning light. The painting is not a tamed and cultivated reflection of American landscape but remote and wild with no evidence of human existence.

Artist: Thomas Cole
Born: 1 February 1801, Bolten-le-Moors, UK
Nationality: British-American
Died: 11 February 1848, New York, USA

Cole’s paintings stand as monuments to the dreams and anxieties of the emerging America during the mid-19th century. Born in England Cole emigrated to the USA as a young man and sought to capture the beauty of the American wilderness. He is the first artist to bring the perspective of a European Romantic landscape painter to those environments and reflect his own idealism and religious sensitivities.

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