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  • Jordan Ison

    frame of reference... Thomas Cole: View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm--The Oxbow (08.228) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Madeline Lepore Martin

    Hudson River School - Thomas Cole (1801–1848), The Oxbow, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm, 1836, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • Tori O'Connor

    Beginning with the works of Thomas Cole (1801-1848) and Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) and evolving into the Luminist and late Romantic schools, landscape painting was the prevalent genre of 19th century American art.

  • Dave Hebb

    View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, 1836 Thomas Cole Long known as The Oxbow, this work is a masterpiece of American landscape painting, laden with possible interpretations. In the midst of painting The Course of Empire (New-York Historical Society), Cole mentioned, in a letter dated March 2, 1836, to his patron Luman Reed, that he was executing a large version of this subject expressly for exhibition and sale. The picture was shown at the National Academy of Design in 1836 as View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm. Cole's interest in the subject probably dates from his 1829–32 trip to Europe, during which he made an exact tracing of the view published in Basil Hall's Forty Etchings Made with the Camera Lucida in North America in 1827 and 1828. Hall criticized Americans' inattentiveness to their scenery, and Cole responded with a landscape that lauds the uniqueness of America by encompassing "a union of the picturesque, the sublime, and the magnificent." Although often ambivalent about the subjugation of the land, here the artist juxtaposes untamed wilderness and pastoral settlement to emphasize the possibilities of the national landscape, pointing to the future prospect of the American nation. Cole's unequivocal construction and composition of the scene, charged with moral significance, is reinforced by his depiction of himself in the middle distance, perched on a promontory painting the Oxbow. He is an American producing American art, in communion with American scenery. There are both sketchbook drawings with annotations and related oil sketches of this subject. Many other artists copied or imitated the painting.

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