The Departure (1837) by Thomas Cole

The Departure - Thomas Cole - 1838

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Departure
ArtistThomas Cole
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions100.3 x 161.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington

About The Departure

“The Departure,” created in 1838 by Thomas Cole, is an oil on canvas exemplifying the Romanticism art movement. The artwork measures 100.3 by 161.3 centimeters and falls within the landscape genre. It is currently housed at The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

The artwork presents a lush, intricate landscape scene imbued with a sense of drama and narrative typical of Romanticism. In the foreground, one can observe figures embarking on a journey, surrounded by rich, verdant foliage. A sense of poignant farewell is conveyed as individuals bid each other goodbye, aligning with the title “The Departure.”

In the middle distance, an architecturally elaborate bridge and gateway lead the eye towards a castle with towering walls and majestic towers, perched atop a hill. The structural features add a layer of human history and endeavour to the otherwise natural scene. Beyond the castle, the landscape unfurls towards a tranquil body of water, leading to distant mountains shrouded partly in mist.

This harmonious interplay between human activity and the sublime natural world is accentuated by the warm palette and the dramatic contrasts of light and shadow. Cole’s fascination with nature’s overwhelming beauty is evident in the way he captures the serene and timeless qualities of the landscape, imbuing the artwork with a sense of grandeur and emotional depth characteristic of the Romantic era.

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