The Pilgrim of the World at the End of His Journey

  • Thomas Cole, The Pilgrim of the World at the End of His Journey, ca. 1847, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1988.1

Luce Center Label

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.

Title
The Pilgrim of the World at the End of His Journey
Artist
Date
ca. 1847
On View
Dimensions
12 x 18 in. (30.5 x 45.7 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape – time – night
  • Landscape – canyon
  • Figure – fragment – skull
  • Allegory – life – old age
  • Figure male
  • Architecture Exterior – ruins
  • Architecture Exterior – religious – temple
Object Number
1988.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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