The Ocean of Eternity

The Ocean of Eternity

Mortality and the purpose of life are prominent themes in Thomas Cole’s paintings. Through his paintings, he vividly brings out the human dilemma of mortality, a dilemma we ourselves must wrestle with. Given the inevitability of death, what are we to do with our days?...
The Journey

The Journey

Birth, growth, decay, and death: the four inevitable stages of life. Thomas Cole’s four Voyage of Life paintings follow this pattern as they masterfully communicate the nuances of the cycles of life and the notion of memento mori1.  While death is inevitable, the...
The Journey

The Voyage of Life and the Course of Empire

Through the allegorical series of paintings, The Voyage of Life and The Course of Empire, Thomas Cole communicates universal truths about the human condition with artistic brilliance. Just as The Voyage of Life reveals the cyclical nature of life (birth, growth,...
The Journey

Remember Death

Memento mori, Latin for “remember death,” refers to the inevitability of death. We all must die. The notion of memento mori was often communicated through the artistic or symbolic use of skulls or Celtic crosses. The idea is that we must always remember our mortality....