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Early in the year of 1839, The English-American painter Thomas Cole, a paragon of what would become known as the Hudson River School, was commissioned by the profoundly religious New York banker Samuel Ward to paint a series of allegorical works depicting the path of human life. The idea had been conceived three years earlier, in 1836, as a series of pictures which would have the objective of advancing the genre of landscape painting, the flagship of the Hudson River School painters, by using it to convey what they believed to be universal truths about human life, Christian spirituality, and the natural world. The result of that was the production, three years later, of four paintings allegorically depicting the path of human life from a spiritual point of view.
In this oil on canvas, finished in 1839, Thomas Cole sets the stage for the series, establishing the language and many of the signs which will guide the observer through the rest of the way. Here, Cole depicts a child, the protagonist of the story, sitting inside a golden boat, joyfully playing with the flowers that cover it. Behind the child is the guardian angel, watching over the child and beckoning it to go unto the world. The prow and side of the boat are sculpted to portray the Hours, representing the passage of time with the hourglass in its hands. The boat sails on the River of Life, being taken naturally by its flow without any visible type of propulsion and is leaving a dark cave, representing the mystery of conception and birth, towards a lush field full of flowers. Along with the protagonist, these symbols will be present in all four paintings in some form, including the seasons, which here is Spring, the season of beginnings, of flowering and the birth of new things.
The original painting commissioned had its exhibition restricted by their owner, Samuel Ward, but is now in show at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, in Utica, New York, along with its sisters: Youth, Manhood, and Old Age. The contemporary limitations of the exhibition didn’t stop Cole from producing a new set of paintings with the same titles right after finishing the first one, and those were also made into prints, leading to an incredible popularization of the artist’s work.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Voyage of Life, Childhood, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Voyage of Life, Childhood 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.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.