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The Course of Empire: Desolation

The Course of Empire: Desolation Print

Item # 19452
Price: $7.95
Member price: $7.16

About This Item:

About this item

The fifth painting in Thomas Cole's epic five-painting series The Course of Empire, which represents the rise and fall of an imaginary civilization, exploring in a universal sense, the cyclical relationship between nature and human progress and temporality of empires, both past and present. For the last episode of the cycle, Desolation, Cole proposed that it "must be a sunset, - the mountains riven - the city a desolate ruin - columns standing isolated amid the encroaching waters - ruined temples, broken bridges, fountains, sarcophagi, &c.- no human figure - a solitary bird perhaps: a calm and silent effect. This picture must be as the funeral knell of departed greatness, and may be called the state of desolation." Perhaps the most original and certainly the most poetic of the five canvases, Desolation captures the exquisite stillness of a world without mankind.

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