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The Voyage of Life: Childhood

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The Voyage of Life: Childhood

After: Thomas Cole (American, born England, 1801 - 1848)

Engraver and Etcher: James Smillie (Scottish, 1807-1885)

Date: 1856
Medium: Engraving and etching on paper
Overall: 21 1/4 x 27 5/16in. (54 x 69.4cm)
Image: 15 5/16 x 22 1/4in. (38.9 x 56.5cm)
Signed: Below image, left: "PAINTED BY THOMAS COLE" Below image, center: "Boston-Published by L. A. ELLIOT, 322 Washington Street" Below image, right: "ENGRAVED BY JAMES SMILLIE" / "Printed by J. H. Daniels, Boston"
Inscribed: Bottom left: "Proof" "Who shall preserve thee beautiful child? / Keep thee as thou art now / Bring thee a spirit undefiled / At God's pure throne to bow?" Bottom center: "Entered according to Act of Congress U.S.A. by James Smillie in the Clerk's Office of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York." "THE VOYAGE OF LIFE -- CHILDHOOD. / From the original Painting by Thomas Cole in the possession of Rev. D Gorham D. Abbott, Springler Institute, New York." Bottom right: "This world is but a bruised reed. / And life grows early dim / Who shall be near thee in thy need / To lead thee up to Him? / He who Himself was undefiled / With Him we trust thee beautiful child."
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Erving Pruyn
Object number: 60.153
Label Text
This is one of the series of engravings Smillie made after Cole's four-part allegorical series "The Voyage of Life" (1839-40) during the years the pictures hung at the Spingler Institute, a progressive school for young women in New York City. The imaginary, air-built, Taj Mahal-like castle that Cole included in his oil painting, accurately copied by Smillie, visualized in symbolic form the hope and aspirations of the Spingler Institute's youthful students.

Paul D. Schweizer
No known copyright restrictions.