Our favorite part of this masterpiece is noted on the face of the mountain where logging scars can be observed. The logging scars are actually letters from the Hebrew alphabet that read "Noah" (נֹ֫חַ). If viewed upside down, as if from God's perspective, the word "Shaddai" is formed, meaning, "The Almighty."
Overall, the painting moves from a dark wilderness with shattered tree trunks on rugged cliffs in the foreground covered with violent rain clouds on the left to a light-filled and peaceful, cultivated landscape on the right, which borders the tranquility of the bending Connecticut River. In returning to painting landscapes, Cole was faced with the dichotomy of the untamed wilderness and land cultivated by man. While other painters of the Hudson River School would merge the two peacefully, Cole did not shy away from portraying the two as opposites and showing how the cultivation would destroy the natural wilderness, and as a result never meet in the painting.
Cole gives himself a tiny self-portrait sitting on the rocks in the foreground with his easel. He also skillfully uses the umbrella to bridge the two distinct parts of the painting to make one unified presentation.
This item is one item in a collection of 3 fine pocket squares. Please consider purchasing the Thomas Cole Collection for the best value.