Although Thomas Cole was born in Lancashire, he moved to the USA in 1818 and had settled in New York State by 1825. He is considered to be the founder of the Hudson River Painters, a group of artists who painted the same kind of romanticized, idealized nature that James Fenimore Cooper describes in his books. James Fenimore Cooper, the author of the Leatherstocking Tales–which include The Last of the Mohicans–was born in 1789, and he lived in upstate New York, in the Cooperstown area. James Fenimore Cooper died in 1851, and Thomas Cole died in 1848.
When I am reading James Fenimore Cooper’s books, I love to envision the paintings of Thomas Cole and the other Hudson River Painters.
Distant View of Niagara Falls – Thomas Cole [Notice the Native Americans overlooking the water–
This could easily be an illustration for a James Fenimore Cooper Book]
Home in the Woods – Thomas Cole
I love autumn in the Northeastern part of the USA. Every autumn, I dig out my copies of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Those books were written in an area of New York that is near where James Fenimore Cooper lived. I also begin posting all of my favorite Hudson River Paintings, and this year, I am adding Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales to the mix. It all seems to fit.
In my early college years, I studied the English Romanticists–especially William Blake and William Wordsworth. The American Romantic movement shares some of the same themes–especially the idealization of nature.
©Jacki Kellum September 14, 2016