Thomas Cole: the Titan's Goblet and the Course of Empire

Thomas Cole was an English-born American painter known for his landscape and history paintings. One of the major 19th-century American painters, he is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole's work is known for its romantic portrayal of the American wilderness.

Feb 1, 1801 – Feb 11, 1848

Some of the Works
Personally, if this guy was even real, I think he knew what was up. In general, this Thomas Cole is way too overlooked to ignore in our research. Below is an interesting progression of five paintings... for a 19th century American painter, this here is an interesting choice I think.

The Course of Empire: The Savage State (1836)

The Course of Empire: Consummation (1835-36)

The Course of Empire: The Destruction (1836)

The Course of Empire: Desolation (1836)

The Course of Empire: The Arcadian or Pastoral State (1836)

The Architects Dream

The Architect's Dream - Wikipedia

The Titan's Goblet
This one here is by far my favorite, for the window of various possibilities suggested by this paintings is virtually limitless. Quite a few people have seen this image, but I doubt they looked close enough.


Here is an interesting something from here:
  • Cole returned to New York City in November of 1832 and mounted an exhibition of his European paintings, which aroused considerable public interest. Shortly thereafter, Cole first established his rural studio in Catskill, New York, when he rented a small outbuilding at Cedar Grove, now the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.
  • It was during this period that Cole began his relationship with Luman Reed. A native of Coxsackie, New York, Reed was a successful local merchant who had moved to New York City and opened a private art gallery there. He became Cole’s patron, and for Reed, Cole produced one of his best-known and popular series of paintings, known as “The Course of Empire.”
  • During the winter of 1835-1836, Cole stayed in Catskill working on “The Course of Empire.” During this period Cole began to express strong views concerning the impact of industrial development and its negative consequences for the wild beauty of the Catskills landscapes that were the source of inspiration for his work. The growth of the railroad by “copper-hearted barbarians” was of particular concern. In 1836, both Cole’s father and his patron Luman Reed died, but there was happiness in that year as well.
Painter Thomas Cole's 1833 sketch for the arrangement of the series "The Course of Empire" paintings around Luman Reed's fireplace: "The Savage State" "The Consummation" "Destruction" "The Arcadian or Pastoral State" "Desolation"


So, did this Luman Reed (what kind of name is that?) have anything to do with "The Course of Empire" series?

KD: I would love to know what Mr. Cole knew. I know that I never will, but that's a fun thought to have. I've read the conventional explanations of these paintings, and I do not believe a single one of those.

In reference to the above #2 Course of Empire image. Below we have 1835 Cole vs. 1893 Chicago Fair

Cole_Thomas_The_Consummation_The_Course_of_the_Empire_1836_1 vs Chicago 1893.jpg

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