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Imagined initially by English-American landscape painter Thomas Cole in 1829, the series of paintings named The Course of Empire was finished between 1833 and 1836, starting with The Savage State, which portrays the early beginnings of a nomadic people settling down and leaving behind their hunter-gatherer ways, and ends with Desolation, which represents the ruins of a long-gone and once-great civilization. In that series, inspired by the ruins that he had seen in his first professional trip to Europe, Cole makes an attempt at imagining the path traveled by the precursors of Western Civilization in a long gone past, a track which he seems to have understood would be one inexorably followed by every civilization, starting from a more primitive state and back to it in an inescapable entropic death.
In this third installment of the collection, finished in 1836, we have the apotheosis of the process, the luxurious and exaggerated apex of the civilization’s power. Here, where once was a placid natural landscape, covered in lush vegetation where a handful of people went on with their daily chores, now is a bustling and grandiose urban cityscape which Cole painted using inspiration from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The city is in a grand celebration, as a figure in the foreground crosses the bridge on an awe-inspiring carriage drawn by elephants, which some have said was a dig at the then United States President Andrew Jackson, who was opposed by Cole’s usual patrons.
The celebratory scene is rife with references, in fact, as each feature is thought out by Cole to be representative of his views on what constituted a civilization and how he found himself within that context. It is essential that much of the scene is covered in potted plants and fountains, which demonstrate humanity’s control over the environment, reshaping and harnessing nature to its purposes. The mountain in the background, the main feature to be present in all of the paintings in the series, is now dominated by human-made structures, further declaring the human domination of nature. Standing aside from the chaotic celebration is a philosopher, surveying the scene, and his proximity to Cole’s signature is taken to signify that this is the role that the painter saw himself in, that of a removed observer.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Consummation of the Empire 1836, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Consummation of the Empire 1836 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
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