Salvator Rosa, Rocky Landscape with a Hunter (Paysage rocheux avec un chasseur), oil on canvas, 1615-1673, 55 9/10 x 75 3/5 in. The Louvre, acquired 1816. View in Scrapbook
Cole saw many different paintings on his trip to Europe in 1829-32. He was particularly interested in the wild landscapes of the Italian Baroque artist Salvator Rosa (1615-73), with their dramatic rocky crags, broken tree branches, and stormy skies. In 1832, the New-York Mirror reported that Cole had returned from Europe with "two original paintings by Salvator," although these were most likely copies. Paintings such as Rosa's Rocky Landscape with a Hunter—which was in the Louvre's collection at the time of Cole's trip—were primary influences on Cole's The Savage State, which displays a similar use of natural elements to convey a sense of drama. 1 For landscapists of Cole's time, Rosa's work exemplified the aesthetic features of the sublime.