The Consummation of Empire
The Consummation of Empire from The Course of the Empire c1836 by American Artist Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848); specializing in historical and landscape paintings that portrayed the American wilderness and was part of the Hudson River School Movement.
This is a scene of an Empire at the height of its glory, as opulence abounds everywhere that one looks and the people at all levels revel in their own minds glory.
The grand buildings of white marble glisten in the daylight and are adorned with gold, gold sculptures and marble statues.
Even the ships are adorned with gold and silk sails; while all the people are dressed in the most expensive and beautiful clothing and people over indulge in everything.
This is the symbol of an Empire on the decline, with the majority of its leaders and people unable to see the fall that lies before them.
This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.
Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org
Thomas was born in Bolton le Moors, Lancashire England in 1801 and at 17 years of age emigrated to the United States with his family, settling in Steubenville, Ohio in 1818.
In 1823 he left Ohio and moved to Philadelphia and then from there in 1825 moved to Catskill, New York, where he lived for the next 23 years with his wife and children.
Thomas started his career as an engraver and was almost completely self taught as a painter, using books to learn his craft and also studying the works of other artists.
Then in 1822 Thomas began working as a portrait painter and over time shifted his focus from portraiture to landscape and historical painting.
Thomas is considered to be one of the prominent 19th century American painters and the founder of the Hudson River School movement which was influenced by the Romanticism era of the late 18th century and mid 19th century.
Though Cole was primarily a landscape painter, he also produced allegorical artwork; with the his most famous being the five part series The Course of Empire; which depict the same landscape over generations, from a near state of nature to consummation of empire, and then decline and desolation.