The Architect’s Dream by Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole (February 1, 1801 – February 11, 1848) was an English-born American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole’s Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism and naturalism.

Cole called Turner the prince of evil spirits, and he sought a form of expression for his megalomanic visions that at first sight looks more peaceful. In this painting the excessive size of the capital, on which the architect has reclined in reflection, only becomes clear on closer inspection. However, the reversal of the real conditions is intrinsically threatening, and this is hardly more peaceful than Turner’s chaos.


The Architect’s Dream
, 1840, by Thomas Cole (Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio, USA).

Other Selected Works

  • The Garden of Eden (1828)

  • Distant View of Niagara Falls (1830)

  • Romantic Landscape with Ruined Tower(1832-36)

  • The Fountain of Vaucluse, 1841, Dallas Museum of Art

  • The Course of Empire: Consummation(1835–1836)

  • The Course of Empire: The Savage State(1836)

  • The Course of Empire: Desolation (1836)

  • The Departure (1837)

  • The Return (1837)

  • The Past (1838)

  • The Vesper Hymn (ca. 1838)

  • The Present (1838)

  • L’Allegro (Italian Sunset) (1845)

  • Il Penseroso (1845)

  • Home in the Woods (1847)


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