Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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COLE, Thomas, painter, born in Bolton-le-Moor, England, 1 February, 1801; died near Catskill, New York, 11 February, 1848. His father immigrated to the United States in 1819, and settled in Ohio, where Thomas took lessons in art from a mediocre portrait-painter named Stein. In 1825 he removed to New York, became intimate with Durand and Trumbull, and turned his attention to depicting the autumn scenery of the Hudson, with such success that he soon became known as one of the best of American landscape-painters. He made several professional visits to Europe, and sketched and painted in England, France, and Italy; but his most attractive works were executed in this country. In 1830 he exhibited at the Royal academy, London, a "View in New Hampshire" and "The Tomb of General Brock," and in 1831 a "View in the United States." Among his most popular works are the "Voyage of Life," a series of allegorical pictures, familiar through engravings, and the "Course of Empire," a similar series, representing a nation's rise, progress, decline, fall, and desolation, now owned by the New York historical society. Among his other-works are "Dream of Arcadia," " Departure, Return," "Garden of Eden" (1828); "Expulsion from Paradise" (1828, Lenox library, New York); " Titian's Goblet" (1833); " Mount Etna," "White Mountains" (Wadsworth athenaeum, Hartford); "Angel appearing to the Shepherds " (Boston athenaeum); "Primitive State of Man," "View on the Thames," "Cross in the Wilderness," " L'Allegro," " I1 Penseroso," " Mountain Ford," "Cross and the World," "Vale of Segesta," "Conway Peak," and Catskill Creek. Mr. Cole was a modest, sweet-tempered, thoughtful man, whose love of nature was as deep as that of his friend Bryant. They found great pleasure in wandering among the Catskills, which is pleasantly commemorated in one of Durand's finest pictures, in which the poet and painter are seen standing together on a mountain ledge. After the death of Mr. Cole a memorial address was delivered by Mr. Bryant before the New York historical society.
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