Cole, Thomas (1801-1848)

The Voyage of Life: Childhood

(see also Youth and Old Age )


Oil on canvas

52 7/8 x 77 7/8 in (133 x 198 cm)

Nature dominates in this naturalistic romance of childhood. Born from the cave of motherhood a young radiating soul, an angel almost, is in the boat of life going for the vast reality of the complete nature. It is an idealistic picture as if one arrives on earth with no primal sin and nothing but nature ahead. It is as good as an outcry for that ideal. If we only would be born in innocence and really had a virginal and comforting nature before us, but the mechanical culture rules and all land is taken... We see the dream that childhood is in trusting nature and humanity to be all of goodness and success.

(Tekst in het Nederlands)

Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, New York

Study in detail



© Time Art Gallery/hall 2