Category: Image Library

The Course of Empire

The ‘Course of Empire’ is a series of five paintings (a pentaptych) by Thomas Cole over the years 1833–36. Each of the paintings shows a river valley from the same vantage point, and over the sequence a great civilisation rises then falls. The scenes are named: The Savage State, The Arcadian or Pastoral State, The Consummation of Empire, Destruction,  and Desolation.

The Savage State
The Savage State

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