During my life, I have seen, heard about, and talked with a variety of different people. Some of them were pleasant, some repulsive, and the interactions I had shaped my understanding of myself, others, and my purpose in life. Thinking back on many such occasions, I would not be able to pinpoint which person had the most profound and earth-shattering effect on me, but I can nevertheless remember individuals whom I hold in high regard. Thomas Cole, an American painter, is one of such people. Born back in 1801 and living until 1848, the man has left a considerable legacy of his works and helped shape the American artistic vision (Avery, 2009). A self-taught artist, he perfected during his life and travels. I think that the best indicator of his very nature is his art. His paintings are vibrant, full of vigor and life, with beautiful vast skies and much greenery.
The man often drew massive landscapes that take the American wilderness as an inspiration. His unique style sparks the imagination, blending reality with the near-fantastical feeling his lighting creates. Some of his works, like “The Titan’s Goblet” and “The Course of Empire” series are outright fantasy. The combination of powerful presentation and occasional symbolism of his paintings entrances the viewer. I think I audibly gasped when I first saw his work, taken aback by how the small details were meticulously rendered. In a personal sense, his art reminds me that even the most mundane events and views can hold vast potential. He could take the natural beauty of a simple landscape and present it as something utterly unimaginable. Looking at Cole’s paintings somehow fills me with a distinct sense of hopefulness for the future. I think that, like many painters before and after him, Thomas Cole truly valued life. Capturing and sharing the beauty of the world with others is a skill not many can master, and I believe he was one of the few that could. A man who was able to look at the wild grass, blue skies, and noble mountains with such love, such passion that it found reflection in his work is truly remarkable.
Avery, K. (2009). Thomas Cole (1801–1848). Web.