"The painter of American scenery has indeed privileges superior to any other; all nature here is new to Art . . . virgin forests, lakes & waterfalls feast his eye with new delights, [and] fill his portfolio with their features of beauty & magnificence." — Thomas Cole, 1835
THOMAS COLE (1801–1848)
American Lake Scene, 1846, oil on canvas, 18" x 24", framed by Gill & Lagodich for the Mint Museum of Art, c. 1820-40 American Cole-style painting frame; gilded applied composition ornament and applied netting over wood; swept profile; cartouche corners and centers; French-Revival influenced style; molding width: 4-1/8” Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William S. Lowndes, 1976.25
"Thomas Cole was a pioneer of American landscape painting. Seeking to raise the status of his genre, he argued that a landscape could be the entire subject of a work of art, not merely backdrop for a story: a view that can be linked to Americas growing concern with the spiritual and therapeutic pleasures of the natural world. Combining a scenic (probably invented) view with a lone Native American figure, this painting is one of a number of works that Cole created towards the end of his life that addressed the issue of the passage of time. The figure can be interpreted not as savagenoble or otherwise, a stereotype that was dominant in then-current representations of Native Americansbut rather as contemplative, pausing to consider the passage of time, symbolized here by the setting sun."