The Architect’s Dream by Thomas Cole

The Architect’s Dream
1840
Romanticism
Oil on canvas
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, USA

The focal point of this painting is the young architect relaxing on a pile of books on top of a Classical column in the foreground. In the column is the carved dedication ‘Painted by T Cole, For I Town Arch, 1840’ indicating the painting was created for the American architect and engineer Ithiel Town. The remaining canvas is occupied by grand architectural monuments, such as Greco-Roman portico and a medieval cathedral.

Thomas Cole
The Hudson River School, Romanticism, Naturalism, The Sublime in Art
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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