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Dream of Arcadia

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Dream of Arcadia

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

Engraver: James Smillie (Scottish, 1807-1885)

Date: 1850-1851
Medium: Engraving on paper
Overall: 11 1/2 x 13in. (29.2 x 33cm)
Image: 6 5/8 x 10 1/2in. (16.8 x 26.7cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 85.48
Label Text
The American Art-Union commissioned Smillie to make this reproductive print to advertise their ownership of Cole's original painting (1838, Denver Art Museum), which the Art-Union planned to distribute in one of its popular annual lotteries. The dreamlike appeal of the image is due to Cole's poetic evocation of an by-gone utopia; a trope described in Western imagination many different ways: the Garden of Eden, the New Jerusalem, the Promised Land, the Land of Peace and Plenty and so forth.

Paul D. Schweizer
May 2012

No known copyright restrictions.