Lot 105
  • 105

Thomas Cole, Autumn Landscape (View of Mount Chocorua)

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  • Thomas Cole
  • Autumn Landscape (View of Mount Chocorua)
  • oil on canvas
  • 38 by 48 in.
  • (96.5 by 121.9 cm)
  • Painted circa 1827-28.


Henry Ward, New York  (friend and patron of the artist)
Private Collection, Arizona
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1986


Washington, D.C., National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, America as Art, 1976, no. 122, illustrated p. 107 (as Landscape)
Tucson, Arizona, University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1985-1986
Greenwich, Connecticut, Bruce Museum of Arts and Science, The Art of Time, December 1999-March 2000


Ellwood C. Parry III, "Recent Discoveries in the Art of Thomas Cole: New Light on Lost Works," The Magazine Antiques, November 1981, pp. 1156, 1158, illustrated in color pl. II
Ellwood C. Parry III, The Art of Thomas Cole: Ambition and Imagination, Newark, New Jersey, 1988, pp. 58-60, illustrated fig. 34, also illustrated in color on the cover (detail)
Robert L. McGrath, "The Tree and the Stump: Hieroglyphics of the Sacred Forest," Journal of Forest History, April 1989, p. 61, illustrated fig. 1
Earl A. Powell, Thomas Cole, New York, 1990, illustrated p. 33
Ellwood C. Parry III, "Les Montagnes dans l'imaginaire de Thomas Cole," Du peintre d'Akresilas a Thomas Cole, Actes du 116 Congres National des Societes Savantes, Paris, France, 1991, pp. 392-95, 405, illustrated fig. 1
Janice Simon, "'Naked Wastes...Glorious Woods': The Forest View of the White Mountains," Historical New Hampshire, Fall-Winter 1999, p. 93, illustrated p. 94

Catalogue Note

At the time Autumn Landscape was re-discovered in the mid-1970s, Ellwood C. Parry III wrote, “In my opinion, [it] is one of the most impressive American landscapes from Thomas Cole’s early period (1825-1829) to have come onto the market in a long time. Moreover, besides the fact that it shows a most impressive New England landscape composition in full Fall coloring, it is also one of the largest American views Cole produced in his early style… a magnificent clear sky is one of the painting’s major charms, along with its stillness and tranquility. That tranquility, on the other hand, has a special emotional edge to it. No doubt, it is evening sunset which floods across the picture space at an angle from the left distance to the right foreground. But as it does so, it silhouettes the pyramidal peak, it dramatizes the stark and dominating tree trunk, leaning away from the source of the light, and it forces the viewer’s eye to encounter the solitary figure whose pose is obviously modeled on Durer’s Melancholia. Like a number of other Romantic figures in British and American paintings of this period, this young man seems world-weary as well as physically tired. Yet the warm sunlight and the suggested refreshment of the waterfall suggest regeneration, even as the vegetation turns from green to autumnal splendor just before the onslaught of winter. Nevertheless, the spot chosen seems deliberately remote from any human settlement or sign of civilization with all its corruptions. The underlying mood is melancholy, while praising the sublime beauty of the wilderness simultaneously.”