Cole's intense interest in architecture becomes quite evident in this pencil sketch of columns at the famous Monreale cathedral in Sicily. In a manner typical of his onsite sketches, Cole created a painstaking transcription of the columns' ornamentation and then noted their specific characteristics, such as the type of marble, beneath the drawing. Cole used such sketches to recreate European architecture as accurately as possible in his paintings. This particular sketch may have inspired the Romanesque arch that frames The Architect's Dream.
1. Thomas Cole, <cite>Capitals at Monreale</cite>, graphite pencil on green gray wove paper, 1842, 14 5/8 x 10 3/8 in. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, William H. Murphy Fund, 39.415.
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2. Thomas Cole, <cite>The Architect's Dream</cite>, oil on canvas, 1840, 53 x 84 1/16 in. Toledo Museum of Art. Purchased with funds from the Florence Scott Libbey Bequest in Memory of her Father, Maurice A Scott, 1949.162.