The Pilgrim of the Cross at the End of His Journey (study for series, The Cross and the World)

Media - 1965.10 - SAAM-1965.10_1 - 1893
Copied Thomas Cole, The Pilgrim of the Cross at the End of His Journey (study for series, The Cross and the World), ca. 1846-1848, oil on canvas, 1218 in. (30.445.8 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1965.10
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
The Pilgrim of the Cross at the End of His Journey (study for series, The Cross and the World)
Artist
Date
ca. 1846-1848
Dimensions
1218 in. (30.445.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Figure male — full length
  • State of being — phenomenon — vision
  • Allegory — life — old age
  • Religion — angel
Object Number
1965.10

Artwork Description

Thomas Cole died before he was able to complete his final group of paintings, titled The Cross and the World. In the beginning of the series, two young men each begin a pilgrimage---one to the cross and the other through the world. The route to the cross is mountainous and difficult, while the pathway through the world tempts with a beautiful valley. By the end of their journeys, the pilgrim of the cross discovers the bright light and angels of redemption, but the pilgrim of the world finds only a wasteland of emptiness and fear. Cole used very little color in these paintings to emphasize the vivid contrast between the glorious light of God and the dark confusion of a world without faith.