✎✎✎ The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole
The few examples of curved lines include the clothing The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole all three of them The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole wearing to show detail and the tan walls behind them. Essay On Dyslexia In Education rights reserved. Sign The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole or Open in Steam. The useful arts have commenced in the construction The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole canoes, huts, and weapons. As the world rapidly transformed from Early Modern to Decidedly Modern, Cole challenged his fellow Young Illusions In Sophocles Oedipus The King to remain knowledgeable and wise in their exercise of previously unimaginable power. Tymn, Marshall, ed.
Thomas Cole - The Course of Empire
This painting depicts the ideal state of the natural world. It is a healthy world, unchanged by humanity. The sun is rising from the sea, and the stormy clouds of night are dissipating before his rays. On the farthest side of the bay rises a precipitous hill, crowned by a singular isolated rock, which, to the mariner, would ever be a striking land-mark. As the same locality is represented in each picture of the series, this rock identifies it, although the observer's situation varies in the several pictures. The chase being the most characteristic occupation of savage life, in the fore-ground we see a man attired in skins, in pursuit of a deer, which, stricken by his arrow, is bounding down a water-course.
On the rocks in the middle ground are to be seen savages, with dogs, in pursuit of deer. On the water below may be seen several canoes, and on the promontory beyond, are several huts, and a number of figures dancing round a fire. In this picture, we have the first rudiments of society. Men are banded together for mutual aid in the chase, etc. The useful arts have commenced in the construction of canoes, huts, and weapons. Two of the fine arts, music and poetry, have their germs, as we may suppose, in the singing which usually accompanies the dance of savages. The empire is asserted, although to a limited degree, over sea, land, and the animal kingdom. The season represented is Spring.
In the second painting, The Arcadian or Pastoral State , the sky has cleared and we are in the fresh morning of a day in spring or summer. The viewpoint has shifted further down the river, as the crag with the boulder is now on the left-hand side of the painting; a forked peak can be seen in the distance beyond it. Much of the wilderness has given way to cultivated land and agriculture , with plowed fields and lawns visible. Various activities go on in the background: plowing, boat-building, herding sheep, dancing; in the foreground, an old man sketches what may be a geometrical problem with a stick. On a bluff on the near side of the river, a megalithic temple has been built, and smoke presumably from sacrifices arises from it.
The images reflect an idealized, pre-urban Archaic Greece. This work shows humanity at peace with the land. The environment has been altered, but not so much so that it or its inhabitants are in danger. Yet the construction of the warship and the concerned mother watching as her child sketches a soldier, herald the emerging imperial ambitions. The gradual advancement of society has wrought a change in its aspect. Shepherds are tending their flocks; the ploughman, with his oxen, is upturning the soil, and Commerce begins to stretch her wings.
A village is growing by the shore, and on the summit of a hill a rude temple has been erected, from which the smoke of sacrifice is now ascending. In the fore-ground, on the left, is seated an old man, who, by describing lines in the sand, seems to have made some geometrical discovery. On the right of the picture, is a female with a distaff, about to cross a rude stone bridge. On the stone is a boy, who appears, to be making a drawing of a man with a sword, and ascending the road, a soldier is partly seen. Under the trees, beyond the female figure, may be seen a group of peasants; some are dancing, while one plays on a pipe. In this picture, we have agriculture, commerce, and religion.
In the old man who describes the mathematical figure — in the rude attempt of the boy in drawing — in the female figure with the distaff—in the vessel on the stocks, and in the primitive temple on the hill, it is evident that the useful arts, the fine arts, and the sciences, have made considerable progress. The scene is supposed to be viewed a few hours after sunrise, and in the early Summer. The third painting, The Consummation of Empire , shifts the viewpoint to the opposite shore, approximately the site of the clearing in the first painting. It is noontide of a glorious summer day.
Both sides of the river valley are now covered in colonnaded marble structures, whose steps run down into the water. The megalithic temple seems to have been transformed into a huge domed structure dominating the river-bank. The mouth of the river is guarded by two pharoi , and ships with lateen sails go out to the sea beyond. A joyous crowd gathers on the balconies and terraces as a scarlet-robed king or victorious general crosses a bridge connecting the two sides of the river in a triumphant procession. In the foreground, an elaborate fountain gushes. The look of the painting suggests the height of Ancient Rome. The decadence seen in every detail of this cityscape foreshadows the inevitable fall of this mighty civilization.
In the picture No. The part seen occupies both sides of the bay, which the observer has now crossed. It has been converted into a capacious harbor, at whose entrance, toward the sea, stand two phari. From the water on each hand, piles of architecture ascend — temples, colonnades and domes. It is a day of rejoicing. A triumphal procession moves over the bridge near the fore-ground. The conqueror, robed in purple, is mounted in a car drawn by an elephant, and surrounded by captives on foot, and a numerous train of guards, senators, etc.
He is about to pass beneath the triumphal arch, while girls strew flowers around. Gay festoons of drapery hang from the clustered columns. Golden trophies glitter above in the sun, and incense rises from silver censers. The harbor is alive with numerous vessels — war galleys, and barks with silken sails. Before the doric temple on the left, the smoke of incense and of the altar rise, and a multitude of white-robed priests stand around on the marble steps. The statue of Minerva, with a victory in her hand, stands above the building of the Caryatides, on a columned pedestal, near which is a band with trumpets, cymbals, etc. On the right, near a bronze fountain and in the shadow of lofty buildings, is an imperial personage viewing the procession, surrounded by her children, attendants, and guard.
In this scene is depicted the summit of human glory. The architecture, the ornamental embellishments, etc. As the triumphal fete would indicate, man has conquered man — nations have been subjugated. This scene is represented as near mid-day, in the early Autumn. The fourth painting, Destruction , has almost the same perspective as the third, though the artist has stepped back a bit to allow a wider scene of the action, and moved almost to the center of the river. The action is the sack and destruction of the city, in the course of a tempest seen in the distance. It seems that a fleet of enemy warriors has overthrown the city's defenses, sailed up the river, and is busy ransacking the city and killing its inhabitants and raping women.
Columns are broken, and fire breaks from the upper floors of a palace on the river bank. In the foreground a statue of some venerable hero posed like the Borghese Gladiator stands headless, still striding forward into the uncertain future. The scene is perhaps suggested by the Vandal sack of Rome in On the other hand, a detail in the lower right of "The Consummation of Empire" shows two children, maybe brothers, fighting, one clad in red and the other in green—the colors of banners of the two contending forces in "Destruction," which thus might depict a foreshadowed civil war. The children, now men, are shown, with one having finally prevailed over the other but seemingly in contemplation of the heavy price paid.
In the painting, the red and green banners are on different side of the river, with the green banners mostly on the temple side and the red banners predominantly on the palace side, maybe showing the still ongoing war between traditionalism and modernism . Ages may have passed since the scene of glory — though the decline of nations is generally more rapid than their rise. Luxury has weakened and debased. Nature has sunk to relative insignificance and virtually faded from the scene. As man increased his power over nature, he clearly expanded upon Arcadian organized religious and social life.
With the Consummation of Empire comes also the consummation of social hierarchy—abundant visible distinctions between rulers and ruled, masters and slaves, priests and laity, rich and poor. Cole believed that history operated cyclically. We are, therefore, virtually condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past just as we attempt to learn from them. In our endless attempts to improve our world—to expand both our power over the forces of nature and to protect our equally natural liberty—we set in motion a series of dialectical conflicts, both generative and destructive.
The empire has, through the projection of power abroad, exploited and constrained the liberty of its neighbors. However, history simply did not allow for actions without equal and opposite reactions. Just as no individual human being may escape the life cycle, Destruction suggests that no civilization which has chosen to abandon perfect liberty in order to exercise power may escape the judgment of history. Wholesale slaughter reigns in the streets, makeshift siege engines take the place of crumbling infrastructure, the mansions and temples once rising to the highest peaks of the visible world now burn to cinders. Whether the destroyers are rebellious slaves, a subjugated neighbor, or a still more powerful empire invading from abroad, we cannot be sure.
Regardless, the viewer cannot but feel that the empire has in some significant sense earned its fate. Nature, for her part, prepares to reclaim the scene, once again gathering her own forces from the swirls of flame, sea, and smoke. The lone, pale moon and its undisturbed reflection on the harbor surface control the center of the frame. There is barely a single stirring of life, not a single sign of creatures enjoying either liberty or power. To Cole and his fellow Young Americans, this very process—the dialectical relationship between the liberty interest and the power interest—quite literally was history and history was inescapable. Not merely inescapable, however: the historical process was also necessary and even beneficial.
The tone of Desolation , while somber and lonesome, is undoubtedly peaceful. Man, after all, still exists apart from the life of any particular civilization, and so long as Nature continues to provide the elements of life, history may begin anew atop the ruin of elder empires. With any luck, man may gradually learn the lessons of the past, imparted from cycle to cycle, lifetime to lifetime, generation to generation. As knowledge and virtue accumulate together, Man may gradually advance his way through history with increasingly tangible improvements in daily life. His message remains fundamentally pessimistic, however, warning audiences that they themselves stood at the peak of another historical cycle. What they did in their lifetime—the course Young America steered for the United States and much of the world—would determine whether the point of consummation or destruction and desolation lay immediately ahead.
Politics held forth no hope to those who wished to break the cycle of history, but Cole saw in the land timeless, cautious lessons of inestimable value. In his work, North America is a frontier in history more so than a geographical expression; it is nature holding a mirror to humanity, showing his unquenchable desires for both liberty and power. On the frontier, man endlessly battled for power over nature and a wide variety of other enemies, each in turn barely scratching out a living from the Earth. As the world rapidly transformed from Early Modern to Decidedly Modern, Cole challenged his fellow Young Americans to remain knowledgeable and wise in their exercise of previously unimaginable power.
Without sufficient virtue maintaining the moral integrity of the republic, the empire would surely rise to take its place. He deeply influenced his immediate peers and successive generations of American artists. He transformed the landscape genre from a reflective art to a medium of expressing historical, social, and political theory. Bellis, Peter. Bigelow, John. William Cullen Bryant. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. Original printing: Callow, James T.These paintings sound a note of both Essay On Sifaka - America had recently liberated health promotion nursing from the British Empire - and caution: that the new state should not fall into the same traps as its Persuasive Essay About E-Cigarettes predecessors. The theme of The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole is one that Cole returned to frequently, such as The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole his The Voyage of Life series. Classical liberal theories of history, including the king and duke republic version advanced by the New York The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole, stressed that historical change was the result of inevitable and relatively constant individual and social battles for liberty La Noche Boca Arriba Analysis the forces of power. Much of the wilderness has given way to cultivated land and agriculturewith plowed fields and lawns visible. Gay festoons violent character in oliver twist drapery hang The Consummation Of Empire: Course Of An Empire By Thomas Cole the clustered columns.