Wadsworth Atheneum

Thomas Cole, Life, Death and Immortality

Three figures are set in a landscape. The young girl at right dressed in white represents an angel (or "Immortality"), with a bright star on her head, and seen holding a bouquet of flowers that have been reaped by the central figure. The young woman in the center cuts flowers with a scythe in a lush landscape, representing the agrarian ideal for which Cole longed the country to return (or "Life"). At the left is a figure shrouded in black holding an hourglass with a dark sky overhead (representing "Death"). In the background is a brilliant Catskill Mountain sunset, more in keeping with the sunsets that are associated with the landscapes of Frederic Church

Thomas Cole (American (born in England), 1801-1848)
Life, Death and Immortality,1844
Oil on wood, 5 3/4 x 11 7/8 in.
Dorothy Clark Archibald and Thomas L. Archibald Fund, 2008.8
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT

Matted size: 11 x 14 in.
Image size: 10 x 4 1/2 in.