Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
Childe Harold's Pilgrimage is a lengthy narrative poem in four parts written by Lord Byron. It was published between 1812 and 1818 and is dedicated to "Ianthe"; the poem describes the travels and reflections of a world-weary young man who, disillusioned with a life of pleasure and revelry, looks for distraction in foreign lands. In a wider sense, it is an expression of the melancholy and disillusionment felt by a generation weary of the wars of the post-Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras; the title comes from the term childe, a medieval title for a young man, a candidate for knighthood. The poem contains elements thought to be autobiographical, as Byron generated some of the storyline from experience gained during his travels through Portugal, the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea between 1809 and 1811; the "Ianthe" of the dedication was the term of endearment he used for Lady Charlotte Harley, about 11 years old when Childe Harold was first published. Charlotte Bacon née Harley was the second daughter of 5th Earl of Oxford and Lady Oxford, Jane Elizabeth Scott.
Throughout the poem Byron, in character of Childe Harold, regretted his wasted early youth, hence re-evaluating his life choices and re-designing himself through going on the pilgrimage, during which he lamented various historical events including the Iberian Peninsular War among others. Despite Byron's initial hesitation at having the first two cantos of the poem published because he felt it revealed too much of himself, it was published, at the urging of friends, by John Murray in 1812, brought both the poem and its author to immediate and unexpected public attention. Byron wrote, "I awoke one morning and found myself famous"; the first two cantos in John Murray's edition were illustrated by Richard Westall, well-known painter and illustrator, commissioned to paint portraits of Byron. Published in March, 1812, the first run of 500 quarto copies sold out in three days. There were ten editions of the work within three years. Byron deemed the work "my best" in 1817. Byron chose for the epigraph for the 1812 edition title page a passage from Le Cosmopolite, ou, le Citoyen du Monde, by Louis Charles Fougeret de Monbron, in the original French.
Translated into English, the quote emphasizes how the travels have resulted in a greater appreciation of his own country: The universe is a kind of book of which one has read only the first page when one has seen only one's own country. I have leafed through a large enough number, which I have found bad; this examination was not at all fruitless for me. I hated my country. All the impertinences of the different peoples among whom I have lived have reconciled me to her. If I had not drawn any other benefit from my travels than that, I would regret neither the expense nor the fatigue; the work provided the first example of the Byronic hero. According to Peter Thorslev, the Byronic hero consists of many different characteristics; the hero must have a rather high level of intelligence and perception as well as be able to adapt to new situations and use cunning to his own gain. It is clear from this description that this hero is well-educated and by extension is rather sophisticated in his style. Aside from the obvious charm and attractiveness that this automatically creates, he struggles with his integrity, being prone to mood swings.
The hero has a disrespect for certain figures of authority, thus creating the image of the Byronic hero as an exile or an outcast. The hero has a tendency to be arrogant and cynical, indulging in self-destructive behaviour which leads to the need to seduce men or women. Although his sexual attraction through being mysterious is rather helpful, it gets the hero into trouble. Characters with the qualities of the Byronic hero have appeared in novels and plays since; the poem has four cantos written in Spenserian stanzas, which consist of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by one alexandrine, has rhyme pattern ABABBCBCC. Childe Harold became a vehicle for Byron's own beliefs and ideas, but in the preface to canto four Byron complains that his readers conflate him and Child Harold too much, so he will not speak of Harold as much in the final canto. According to Jerome McGann, by masking himself behind a literary artifice, Byron was able to express his view that "man's greatest tragedy is that he can conceive of a perfection which he cannot attain".
The poem's protagonist is referenced several times in description of the eponymous hero in Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. It is quoted towards the end of Asterix in the 2000 film Britannic. Hector Berlioz drew inspiration from this poem in the creation of his second symphony, a programmatic and arguably semi-autobiographical work called Harold en Italie. In Anthony Trollope's third book of his Palliser novels, The Eustace Diamonds, Rev. Emilius reads the first half of the fourth canto to Lizzie Eustace. C. S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, uses Childe Harold as an example of a soul who would have been damned by his "self-pity for imaginary distresses." Childe Harold, "Whatever that might mean", is carried to sea by Horatio Hornblower in C. S. Forester's The Commodore. Herman Melville in Moby-Dick warns the ship-owners of Nantucket of enlisting "sunken-eyed Platonists" to man the mast-head lest these dreamy youth "tow you ten wakes around the world, never make you one pint of sperm richer."
And goes on to refer to Byron's poem, "Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship, in moody phrase ejaculates:–'Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain.' " Stanza 76 along with the quote from Stanza 74 from Canto II was used by W. E. B. DuBois as the epigraph for Chapter 3 of
Thomas Cole was an English-born American painter known for his landscape and history paintings. One of the major 19th-century American painters, he is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. Cole's work is known for its romantic portrayal of the American wilderness. Born in Bolton le Moors, Lancashire, in 1801, Cole emigrated with his family to the United States in 1818, settling in Steubenville, Ohio. At the age of 22, Cole moved to Philadelphia and in 1825, to Catskill, New York, where he lived with his wife and children until 1848. Cole found work early on as an engraver, he was self-taught as a painter, relying on books and by studying the work of other artists. In 1822, Cole started working as a portrait painter and on shifted his focus to landscape. In New York, Cole sold five paintings to George W. Bruen, who financed a summer trip to the Hudson Valley where the artist produced landscapes featuring the Catskill Mountain House, the famous Kaaterskill Falls, the ruins of Fort Putnam, two views of Cold Spring.
Returning to New York, he displayed five landscapes in the window of William Colman's bookstore. This garnered Cole the attention of John Trumbull, Asher B. Durand, William Dunlap. Among the paintings was a landscape called View of Fort Ticonderoga from Gelyna. Trumbull was impressed with the work of the young artist and sought him out, bought one of his paintings, put him into contact with a number of his wealthy friends including Robert Gilmor of Baltimore and Daniel Wadsworth of Hartford, who became important patrons of the artist. Cole was a painter of landscapes, but he painted allegorical works; the most famous of these are 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, decline and desolation—now in the collection of the New York Historical Society and the four-part The Voyage of Life. There are two versions of the latter, one at the National Gallery in Washington, D. C. the other at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York.
Among Cole's other famous works are The Oxbow, The Notch of the White Mountains, Daniel Boone at his cabin at the Great Osage Lake, Lake with Dead Trees, at the Allen Memorial Art Museum. He painted The Garden of Eden, with lavish detail of Adam and Eve living amid waterfalls, vivid plants, deer. In 2014, friezes painted by Cole on the walls of his home, decorated over, were discovered. Cole influenced his artistic peers Asher B. Durand and Frederic Edwin Church, who studied with Cole from 1844 to 1846. Cole spent the years 1829 to 1832 and 1841 to 1842 abroad in England and Italy. Cole is best known for his work as an American landscape artist. In an 1836 article on "American Scenery," he described his complex relationship with the American landscape in esthetic and spiritual terms, he produced thousands of sketches of varying subject matter. Over 2,500 of these sketches can be seen at The Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1842, Cole embarked on a Grand Tour of Europe in an effort to study in the style of the Old Masters and to paint its scenery.
Most striking to Cole was Europe's tallest active volcano, Mount Etna. Cole was so moved by the volcano's beauty that he produced several sketches and at least six paintings of it; the most famous of these works is A View from Mount Etna from Taormina, a 78-by-120-inch oil on canvas. Cole produced a detailed sketch View of Mount Etna which shows a panoramic view of the volcano with the crumbling walls of the ancient Greek theatre of Taormina on the far right. Cole was a poet and dabbled in architecture, a not uncommon practice at the time when the profession was not so codified. Cole was an entrant in the design competition held in 1838 to create the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, his entry won third place, many contend that the finished building, a composite of the first and third-place entries, bears a great similarity to Cole's entry. After 1827 Cole maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove, in the town of Catskill, New York, he painted a significant portion of his work in this studio.
In 1836, he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner's, became a year-round resident. Thomas and Maria had five children. Cole's sister, Sarah Cole, was a landscape painter. Additionally, Cole held many friendships with important figures in the art world including Daniel Wadsworth, with whom he shared a close friendship. Proof of this friendship can be seen in the letters that were unearthed in the 1980s by the Trinity College Watkinson Library. Cole wrote Wadsworth in July 1832: "Years have passed away since I saw you & time & the world have undoubtedly wrought many changes in both of us; the fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public. List of paintings by Thomas Cole This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cole, Thomas". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. Cambridge U
Luman Reed was a successful American merchant and an important patron of the arts. His support for the painters George Whiting Flagg and Thomas Cole were significant contributions to the development of American painting during the early 19th century, he commissioned works from artists such as Asher B. Durand. Reed was born on a farm in New York, he began his business career as a store clerk in the Hudson River village of Coxsackie, New York, where his family relocated before moving to New York City in 1815. There he became one of the city's most prominent merchants with the Front Street dry-goods firm he established with various partners, the last being Jonathan Sturges. With his wealth, Reed assembled in the course of six years one of the earliest and most significant collections of European and American art in the United States, which he displayed in a specially designed two-room gallery in his house on Greenwich Street in lower Manhattan. Making his mark as a patron of both established and aspiring contemporary American artists, Reed attempted to nurture the creation of a national artistic culture as sophisticated and accomplished as that of Europe.
His interest in landscape painting and portraiture notwithstanding, Reed was an avid collector of genre paintings depicting scenes from everyday life. In 1844, his substantial collection was purchased by a group of his associates in New York with the intention to form a public art collection the New York Gallery of Fine Arts; the collection was donated to the New York Historical Society in 1858. It is one of the most important early 19th-century collections of American art. Luman Reed at Find a Grave
Prometheus Bound (Thomas Cole)
Prometheus Bound is an 1847 oil painting by American artist Thomas Cole. Prometheus Bound is one of Cole's largest paintings, like his other major works of the 1840s it was not the result of a commission, it draws from the ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus. In the painting, Prometheus is chained to a rock on Mount Caucasus in Scythia. Zeus has punished him for endowing humans with life and for giving humans fire; each day a raptor comes to feed on Prometheus's liver, which regrows between visits, making Zeus's punishment more cruel. The allegorical painting is among Cole's last works, but Cole never commented on the theme of the work. Art historians have tentatively linked the bondage of Prometheus to abolitionist sentiment by reviewing the presentation of the mythical figure in contemporaneous literature. Cole sent it to London for an 1847 exhibit and competition to decorate the Houses of Parliament, the painting was still in London when he died, it thus received little exhibition in the United States in the 1840s, making its reception difficult to judge.
Cole was a landscape painter who employed allegory in his works, such as The Titan's Goblet and The Voyage of Life. The story of Prometheus belongs to the genre of history painting. In Prometheus Bound, the landscape is appropriately desolate; the figure himself blends in with the rocks, a conscious decision of the artist that adds an element of surprise for the viewer when the figure is seen. Upon further inspection a vulture is seen lower in the painting; the raptor comes at dawn. As the Roman god Jupiter is the equivalent of Zeus, Prometheus's antagonist symbolically watches over him. Technically, the rendition of light on snow is skilled; the famous American landscape artist Frederic Edwin Church wrote in 1876 to Cole's son, "I've always admired the sky of that picture, deeming it the finest morning effect I saw painted". There is no record of Cole commenting on the theme of Prometheus Bound. Art historian Patricia Junker notes that writers and artists took up the myth of Prometheus in the decades before Cole's painting.
Prometheus in bondage was seen as having an "indomitable spirit" and could "serve as a potent object lesson for political and social reform". Thoreau had translated Aeschylus's play, noting in his forward the increasing interest in Prometheus. Percival published an anti-slavery poem called "Prometheus" in 1843, a time when slavery and abolitionism were controversial topics in the U. S, it is possible that Cole used the bondage of Prometheus as a comment on slavery, as he saw art as a potential moral influence on society. Painted toward the end of Cole's life, Prometheus Bound followed a period in which Cole worked on his ambitious but never-finished painting series The Cross and the World. In this five-part series he had intended to contrast two travellers as they set out from the central image, one on a spiritual and the other a worldly journey. Beginning in February 1846, Cole abandoned that project and developed sketches and studies over the next fifteen months for Prometheus Bound; the 1840s saw Cole developing larger, monumental canvases.
Confident in his work and not limited in subject by commissions, he conceived his larger paintings as exhibition works. Cole submitted Prometheus Bound to the 1847 exhibition at Westminster Hall, the third in a series of competitions to select art for the British Houses of Parliament; the competition offered cash prizes, the possibility of a fresco commission, the chance for recognition in the press through reproductions in the Illustrated London News and lithographs by print publishers. However, the painting's subject matter was a poor fit, as the exhibit required any allegorical paintings to relate to the history of Great Britain; the painting received little press attention. To gauge public response, Cole first showed the work at the New-York Gallery of Fine Arts along with the collection of his one-time patron Luman Reed, it was well received. The star of Jupiter is seen above, hovering within sight of his victim, one feels, in looking at him, as if he were placed there for all time to gloat on the agonies of the tortured Prometheus....
We wish Mr. Cole could find it in his heart and in his way to treat us oftener to his imaginative creations, they give a dignity to art which the mass of modern artists do not seem to appreciate". Cole's early biographer, Louis Legrand Noble, commented on the painting: is an image of the physical sublime. Earth and air—dark blue depths of illimitable ether—vasty foundations—mighty summits helmeted with the crystal of eternal winter, glittering under the white cold Jupiter, in the first golden flashes of the day, it is the huge embodiment of that single thought, haunting the universe, The Everlasting... it is utter simplicity—one and simple as a roll of thunder. It is the product of a single blow of genius.... The failing of the Prometheus—no great, if we choose to drop the name, call it the Alps, or Andes in the dawn—is its
A megalith is a large stone, used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterised by such constructions. For periods, the word monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more to be used; the word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek μέγας and λίθος. Megalith denotes one or more rocks hewn in definite shapes for special purposes, it has been used to describe buildings built by people from many parts of the world living in many different periods. The term was first used in reference to Stonehenge by Algernon Herbert in 1849. A variety of large stones are seen as megaliths, with the most known megaliths not being tombs; the construction of these structures took place in the Neolithic period and continued into the Chalcolithic period and the Bronze Age. At a number of sites in eastern Turkey, large ceremonial complexes from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered.
They belong to the incipient phases of animal husbandry. Large circular structures involving carved. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, it is not clear that any of the European megalithic traditions are derived from them. At Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20; some measure up to 30 metres across. As well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, lions, birds and scorpions. Dolmens and standing stones have been found in large areas of the Middle East starting at the Turkish border in the north of Syria close to Aleppo, southwards down to Yemen, they can be encountered in Lebanon, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The largest concentration can be found in southern Syria and along the Jordan Rift Valley, however they are being threatened with destruction, they date from the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age. Megaliths have been found on Kharg Island and pirazmian in Iran, at Barda Balka in Iraq.
A semicircular arrangement of megaliths was found in Israel at Atlit Yam, a site, now under the sea. It is a early example, dating from the 7th millennium BC; the most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in a large area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side. They occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, in Jordan, which has the largest concentration of dolmen in the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, only few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz, they seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, thus could indicate a continuous tradition related to those of Somalia and Ethiopia. The standing stone has a ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times. Although not always'megalithic' in the true sense, they occur throughout the Orient, can reach 5 metres or more in some cases; this phenomenon can be traced through many passages from the Old Testament, such as those related to Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, who poured oil over a stone that he erected after his famous dream in which angels climbed to heaven.
Jacob is described as putting up stones at other occasions, whereas Moses erected twelve pillars symbolizing the tribes of Israel. The tradition of venerating stones continued in Nabatean times and is reflected in, e.g. the Islamic rituals surrounding the Kaaba and nearby pillars. Related phenomena, such as cupholes, rock-cut tombs and circles occur in the Middle East; the most common type of megalithic construction in Europe is the portal tomb – a chamber consisting of upright stones with one or more large flat capstones forming a roof. Many of these, though by no means all, contain human remains, but it is debatable whether use as burial sites was their primary function; the megalithic structures in the northwest of France are believed to be the oldest in Europe based on radiocarbon dating. Though known as dolmens, the term most accepted by archaeologists is portal tomb; however many local names exist, such as anta in Galicia and Portugal, stazzone in Sardinia, hunebed in the Netherlands, Hünengrab in Germany, dysse in Denmark, cromlech in Wales.
It is assumed that most portal tombs were covered by earthen mounds. The second-most-common tomb type is the passage grave, it consists of a square, circular, or cruciform chamber with a slabbed or corbelled roof, accessed by a long, straight passageway, with the whole structure covered by a circular mound of earth. Sometimes it is surrounded by an external stone kerb. Prominent examples include the sites of Brú na Bóinne and Carrowmore in Ireland, Maes Howe in Orkney, Gavrinis in France; the third tomb type is a diverse group known as gallery graves. These are axially arranged chambers placed under elongated mounds; the Irish court tombs, British long barrows, German Steinkisten belong to this group. Another type of megalithic monument, the single standing stone, or menhir as it is known in France, is common throughout Europe, where some 50,000 examples have been noted; some of these are thought to have an astronomical function as a foresight. In some areas and complex alignments of such stones exist, the largest known example being located at Carnac in Brittany, France.
In parts of Britain and Ireland a common type of megalithic construct
A lateen or latin-rig is a triangular sail set on a long yard mounted at an angle on the mast, running in a fore-and-aft direction. Dating back to Roman navigation, the lateen became the favorite sail of the Age of Discovery because it allows a boat to tack "against the wind." It is common in the Mediterranean, the upper Nile River, the northwestern parts of the Indian Ocean, where it is the standard rig for feluccas and dhows. The lateen is used today in a different form on small recreational boats like the Sailfish and Sunfish, but is still used as a working rig by coastal fishermen in the Mediterranean; the lateen evolved out of the dominant square rig by setting the sails more fore-and-aft – along the line of the keel – rather than athwartship, while tailoring the luff and leech. One theory is that the lateen sail originated during the early Roman empire in the Mediterranean Sea; the theory of Roman origin for lateen was first proposed by Lynn White and was elaborated upon by Lionel Casson.
Some scholars have proposed alternative explanations for the origins of the lateen. The political scientist John M. Hobson argues that some early passages interpreted by White as references to the lateen were only alluding to triangular topsails, expresses skepticism over early Byzantine depictions of lateen sails, he states that the long-distance seafaring of the Persians in the third and fourth centuries would have been impossible with square sails, so the lateen sail originated in Persia or Arabia and was introduced to the western Mediterranean region. However, such long distance sailing across the Indian Ocean was well established in the 1st century on the Hellenistic ships of Greco-Egyptian and Roman traders, as detailed in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Historian George Hourani as well as specialists in the study of Austronesian cultures have instead suggested a Southeast Asian origin; the triangular shape of the lateen sail is characteristic of the far more ancient crab claw sails of the Austronesian sailors in the Indo-Pacific.
Some believe that early contact of Arab trade ships in the Indian Ocean with Austronesian sailors resulted in the development of the Arabic lateen sail. Arab ships are believed to have influenced the development of the Austronesian rectangular tanja sail, prevalent in western Southeast Asia. Austronesian sails, differ from western Eurasian sails in that they have spars along both the upper and lower edges. According to Lionel Casson, both types of lateen were known from an early date on: a 2nd-century AD gravestone depicts a quadrilateral lateen sail, while a 4th-century mosaic shows a triangular one, to become the standard rig throughout the Middle Ages. Casson argues that the earliest fore-and-aft rig was the spritsail, appearing in the 2nd century BC in the Aegean Sea on small Greek craft. According to the Belgian maritime historian Basch, the earliest lateen rig appears as early as the 1st century BC, in a wall painting found in a Hypogeum in Alexandria, Hellenistic Egypt. However, such an interpretation has been disputed.
The earliest archaeologically excavated lateen-rigged ship, the Yassi Ada II, dates to ca. 400 AD, with a further four being attested prior to the Arab advance to the Mediterranean. The Kelenderis ship mosaic and the Kellia ship graffito from the early 7th century complement the picture. By the 6th century, the lateen sail had replaced the square sail throughout the Mediterranean, the latter disappearing from Mediterranean iconography until the mid-13th century, it became the standard rig of the Byzantine dromon war galley and was also employed by Belisarius' flagship in the 532 AD invasion of the Vandal kingdom. After the Muslim conquests in Syria and North Africa, they adopted the lateen sail by way of the Coptic populace, which shared the existing Mediterranean maritime tradition and continued to provide the bulk of galley crews for centuries to come; this is indicated by the terminology of the lateen among Mediterranean Arabs, derived from Greco-Roman nomenclature. One theory suggests that the lateen sail was brought to the Indian Ocean by the Alexandrian merchants from Hellenistic Egypt and Roman Egypt who sailed the Red Sea in Roman and Byzantine and Arab times.
The emergence of evidence for the development and spread of the lateen sail in the ancient Mediterranean in recent decades has led to a reevaluation of the role of Roman and Arab seafaring in the Indian Ocean in that process, with some arguing that neither the attribution of the lateen to the Arabs nor its origin in the Indian Ocean can any longer be upheld: The origin of the lateen sail has been attributed by scholars to the Indian Ocean and its introduction into the Mediterranean traditionally ascribed to the Arab expansion of the early-7th century. This was due to the earliest iconographic depictions of lateen rigged ships from the Mediterranean post-dating the Islamic expansion into the Mediterranean basin... It was assumed that the Arab people who invaded the Mediterranean basin in the 7th century carried with them the sailing rig familiar to them; such theories have been superseded by unequivocal depictions of lateen-rigged Mediterranean sailing vessels which pre-date the Arab invasion.
Further inquiries into the appearance of the lateen rig in the Indian Ocean and its gulfs suggested a reversal of earlier scholarly opinion on the direction of diffusion, with Lynn White in 1978 arguing an introduction by Portuguese sailors in th
Thomas Cole House
The Thomas Cole House known as Cedar Grove or the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, is a National Historic Landmark that includes the home and the studio of painter Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of American painting. It is located at Catskill, NY, United States; the site provided Thomas Cole with a residence and studio from 1833 through his death in 1848. The property was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, it was declared a National Historic Site in 1999. In 1684, Gysbert uyt den Bogaert purchased about 460 acres of land from Native Americans, an area at the mouth of Catskill Creek, bounded on the east by the Hudson River. After the death of his last descendant the land was subsequently divided and sold by a speculator in the middle of the 18th century; the land was further subdivided during the Revolutionary War, but the development of the area only began in the mid-1790s when growth is described in historical sources as "very rapid."One of the first landowners was Dr. Thomas Thomson, who arrived in 1787 to practice medicine, speculate in land, live with his family.
After his death and the return of his son Thomas T. Thomson from South America in 1815, the doctor and his family purchased and leased neighboring lots until their property encompassed 155 acres at its apex. During this period, the family built a Federal-style house as their primary residence, finishing construction in 1816; the first documented references to the property as'Cedar Grove' date to this time. In 1821, Thomas T. Thomson died, his brother John A. Thomson, known familiarly as "Uncle Sandy," assumed duties as head of the household; the Cedar Grove property was a working farm, with oxen, beef cattle and one horse. Barley, oats and hay were cultivated, though orchards produced the primary cash crop of the farm. A large extended family lived including four of his orphaned nieces; when Thomas Cole arrived in the early 1830s, Cedar Grove had become "a viable gentleman's farm." Looking to secure a more permanent residence in the Catskill area while maintaining a studio in New York City, Cole rented space from the Thomson family to live and paint.
In November 1836 he formally entered the family, marrying John A. Thomson's niece Maria Bartow in the West Parlor of the Cedar Grove house, she was 23 years old to his 35. Cole painted numerous scenes of the Catskill landscape around Cedar Grove, including such well-known paintings as Lake with Dead Trees, Kaaterskill Falls. Cedar Grove continues to offer views of the Catskill mountains, Cole expressed his feelings for the site and its proximity to the wilderness in poetry and letters. In 1834 he wrote, Cole purchased two and a half acres of land outright from John A. Thomson, intending to construct a separate house for his wife and himself, but never did so. Instead, he lived in the master bedroom occupied by John A. Thomson, raised his children in the main house. Late in 1839 Cole moved into a new studio, using part of a barn that John A. Thomson had constructed; the studio still stands today, replete with an extra window built to give the artist more northern light. Here Cole painted a number of important works, most notably The Voyage of Life.
After John A. Thomson's death in 1846, Cole erected another studio on the property, demolished in the 1970s. In February 1848 Cole caught pneumonia and died in the master bedroom at Cedar Grove, leaving behind his wife and four children. Cole's student Frederic Edwin Church became a close friend of the family and sketched much of Cedar Grove in 1848. Following Cole's death, a number of artists traveled to visit Cedar Grove, with some renting his studio and making paintings and sketches of the houses and grounds. Jasper Francis Cropsey and Charles Herbert Moore were among those who visited, descriptions of the site began to appear in magazines and newspapers. Cole's privileged position in American art during the mid-19th century ensured constant interest in his place of work by the artistic community until many years after his death. In the 1880s, the family had fallen on hard financial circumstances, with Frederic Church forced to assist them in 1882; the size of the property diminished due to a combination of public works and sales to help the family's financial situation.
In 1933 the construction of the nearby Rip Van Winkle Bridge at first threatened to demolish the house, but after concerted efforts by the Cole family only took a portion of land. In 1964 the last surviving descendant of Cole held an auction to sell a number of Cole's paintings and furnishings. During the 1960s, the historic flower beds were abandoned, the old cottage that Cole had rented was demolished. After New York State declined to preserve the property, it was purchased by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development who listed it for sale with restrictive deed covenants in 1981. In 1982 it was purchased by four art enthusiasts. After the National Park Service declined to acquire the site, a grant from the Beecher Trust helped the Greene County Historical Society purchase the site in 1998. Restoration began in earnest and Cedar Grove opened to the public in 2001. Historic Artists' Homes and Studios Olana State Historic Site Official website