Cole, Thomas (1801-1848)

The Voyage of Life: Youth

(see also Childhood and Old Age)


Oil on canvas

52 7/8 x 76 1/4 in (134 x 194 cm)

In our Youth in the full light of day we step into the boat of marriage for a little while forgetting the light of the soul leaving it ashore, where we will certainly return for it. At least once a week. We build castles in the air meanwhile dreaming of the great love of culture, personal success and glory. But it is all placed in the midst of nature with its irrefutable reality of natural time, order, peace and resources. We live on that natural ground. We never really part from it. It is just that castle in the sky that hangs there as a token of the illusion of youth. The old man doesn't see it anymore, nor did the young child. Culture as such and its standards of time-management is just an illusion, a temporary dream to wake up from at the end of ones life or fall asleep with after ones childhood. But everything happens under the grace of the Lord of natural time. The soul is there, despite of all illusions, the marriage is there. Do not worry, nature will win.

(Tekst in het Nederlands)

Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, Utica, New York

Study in detail


© Time Art Gallery/hall 2