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The Voyage of Life: Old Age

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The Voyage of Life: Old Age

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 3/16 x 22 11/16in. (38.6 x 57.6cm)
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" Bottom right: "Printed by J. H. Daniels, Boston."
Inscribed: Bottom left: "Proof" "While through this changing world we roam / From Infancy to Age. / Heaven is the christian Pilgrims home. / His rest at ever stage / A beam from Heaven is sent to cheer / The christian on his road. / And angels are atteding near. / To bear him home to God." 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 of New York." "THE VOYAGE OF LIFE -- OLD AGE. / From the original Painting by Thomas Cole in the possession of Rev.d Gorma D. Abbott, Springler Institute, New York" Bottom right: "The world recedes, it disappears! / Heaven opens on my eyes! My ears / With sounds seraphic ring! / Lend, lend your wings! I mount, I fly! / O grave, where is thy victory? / O Death, where is thy sting?"
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Erving Pruyn
Object number: 60.156
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.