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The Voyage of Life: Youth

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The Voyage of Life: Youth

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 1/8 x 27 3/8in. (53.7 x 69.5cm)
Image: 15 3/8 x 22 7/8in. (39.1 x 58.1cm)
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" "Beware what earth calls happiness. Beware / All joys but joys that never can expire. / Who buiilds on less that an immortal base / Condemns is joys to death." Bottom center: "THE VOYAGE OF LIFE -- YOUTH. / From the original Painting by Thomas Cole in the possession of Rev.d Gorham D. Abbott, Springler Institute, New York." Bottom right: "The golden palace of my God / Towering above the cluds I see: / Beyond the cherubs bright abode. / Higher than angels thoughts can be." 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."
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Erving Pruyn
Object number: 60.154
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.