The Course of an Empire: The Arcadian or Pastoral State

Thomas Cole- Pastoral State

Thomas Cole. Oil on canvas, 1834, 39 ½ x 63 ½ in. Collection of The New-York Historical Society, 1858.2.

The day is further along than in “Savage State”. Clouds dance slowly around the mountains. A small village has been established near the bay. Nature and humanity are in harmony. Peasants engage in simple pleasures.

From Thomas Cole:

The spring has come at last; we have had a few days the most celestial: the gentlest temperature, the purest air, sunshine without burning & breezes without chilliness, skies cloudless but soft. The mountains have taken their pearly hue & the streams leap & glitter as though some crystal mountain thawed beneath the sun; the bosomy hills heaving amid white & rosy blossoms blush in the light of day. The air is full of fragrance & music. O that this could endure & no poison of the mind fall into the cup! 



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