Thomas Cole (1801–1848)
A Sketch: Catskill Landscape, c. 1845–1847
Oil on wood pulp paper board, 10 × 7¼ in.
Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Gift of Seattle Art Museum, TC.2011.1.7

This oil sketch depicts a view of Catskill with a deciduous tree composed of broad brushstrokes in the foreground. In Cole’s Essay on American Scenery (1836), he speaks at length about the significance of forests and condemns those who cut down trees for profit. Cole writes: “Time will not permit me to speak of the American forest trees individually; but I must notice the elm, that paragon of beauty and shade; the maple, with its rainbow hues; and the hemlock, the sublime of trees, which rises from the gloom of the forest like a dark and ivy-mantled tower.”

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Brooke KrancerA Sketch: Catskill Landscape