Unfinished landscape (Sunset Study)

Thomas Cole (1801-1848)

ca. 1845-47

Oil on panel

Thomas Cole was considered the leader of the alliance of artists known as the Hudson River School. These artists believed that the divine was most evident in nature and representations of it. This work by Cole was left unfinished and offers several insights into the way that he painted, including the revelation that he perfected his painting from the top to the bottom.

For Further Thinking: Scholars have debated what Cole might have intended to paint in the large, dark area in the bottom left of this work. What you do think it looks like?

Why do you think he might have included that?