Mouse over the detail to view its caption, click it to zoom in, and use the reset button on the lower right to zoom back out.
1. A guardian angel steers a golden ship holding a happy infant (the Voyager). Cole's son Theddy, who was two years old at the time Childhood was painted, may have been a model for the young Voyager.
2. The prow of the boat is an angel holding an hourglass, which is full at this stage in the Voyager's life. The angelic figures carved on the sides of the boat are what Cole described as the "Figures of the Hours," linking mortality and time.
3. This flower is an Egyptian lotus, which Cole described as "symbolical of Human Life."
4. The boat emerging from the dark cave represents birth. Cole's daughter Mary was born during the creation of Childhood, and this event may have influenced his conception of the scene.
5. Flowers grow on the riverbanks, representing spring and new growth. The close proximity of the flowers and the limited landscape suggest a child's narrow scope of vision.
6. Light enters from the east and signifies the time of day as early morning.