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In 1839, The English-American painter Thomas Cole, an exemplar of what would become known as the Hudson River School, was hired by the profoundly pious New York banker Samuel Ward to paint a series of symbolical pieces depicting the trajectory of human life. The project had been thought up three years before, in 1836, as a series of oil on canvas paintings which would have the target of advancing the genre of landscape painting, the forerunner of the Hudson River School painters, by using it to impart what they believed to be universal truths about human existence, Christian spirituality, and the natural world. The result of that was the production, three years later, of four paintings figuratively depicting the path of human life from their spiritual point of view, focusing upon the protagonist, a white man.
The series is composed of paintings depicting the four great phases of a man’s life: Childhood, where he is guided by his guardian angel from the mysterious darkness into the light of life; Youth, where the guardian angel is left behind in the man’s pursuit of his lofty objectives; Manhood, where, adrift in the rough waves of life, the man understands the necessity of spirituality and prays for deliverance; and finally Old Age, which is portrayed in this oil on canvas which is, along with the rest of the series, in possession of the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, in Utica, New York.
Here, the man is portrayed in the allegorical winter of his life. The prow of the golden ship that carries him, which until now had an Hour holding an hourglass has now broken off, telling us that, not only is the man’s time over, but there is no more hope of getting it back. The guardian angel, who had before left the man to his own devices, now reapproaches him, guiding the humbled elder towards the clouds, where another celestial figure awaits. A parallel could be driven here with the Youth painting, as the opening in the clouds which portrays the Heavens is occupying the same space in the composition as the flying castle was in the former painting. Cole appears to say there that the youngster’s quest for the ephemerous castle would be just a misguided search for God and salvation.
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, Old Age, 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, Old Age 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.