Optional - receive your painting ready to hang. Note we are only able to ship framed paintings up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached, the framing option is automatically disabled. If ordered without a frame the painting will arrive rolled inside a protective tube with an extra 1.5" white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
Initially conceived in 1829, but finished only seven years later, in 1836, the series of paintings named The Course of Empire was produced by the English-American landscape painter Thomas Cole, scion of what we now name the Hudson River School, an American style or movement which had among its main characteristics the ideological use of nature and landscape painting, which is masterfully done here by Cole. The primary objective behind the picture of the series was to portray an imagined trajectory of a civilization as it was thought of by Cole and his contemporaries. Inspired in great part by the Greek and Roman ruins seen by Cole in his first professional trip to Europe, the series depicts the trajectory as starting with a savage people, very similar to what was left of the Native American peoples in Cole’s time, having its apex with something akin to a Roman triumph in The Consummation of Empire, and finally being no more than a shadow over the landscape in Desolation.
In this penultimate instance, we have the decadence of the Empire, brought down on it not by internal factors or simply by entropy, but by an external invader, who rapes, burns, and pillages the civilization, bringing it back down to the primitive state. That choice, of portraying the empire’s downfall as an invasion is not only very telling of Cole’s understanding of History but is also a signal of his time’s historiography, one that used the discourse of the barbarian invasion as the end of civilization to forward their views on the politics of their time, seeing themselves as bastions of Western culture, holding fast against the attacks of the Oriental hordes.
Incipiently planned to be shown in a specific layout along with the rest of the series, which can now be seen in the New York Historical Society, the fourth painting in the series portrays Cole’s idea of a barbarian invasion, happening to the same city depicted in The Consummation of Empire, albeit from a slightly different angle. The bridge that was once crossed by the triumphant general has now crumbled under the weight of the troops, the statue of Athena, symbol of victory and wisdom, has been substituted by a headless Borghese Gladiator. The external invader destroys the symbols of might and development in a cautionary tale for Cole’s own time.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Course of Empire: Destruction, 1836, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Course of Empire: Destruction, 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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