Cole's Circle


Talbot, Charles N. (1802-74)

Leader in New York's China trade and member of the mercantile elite, Talbot was also a supporter of the American Bible Society and a Protestant activist. Talbot bought View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm (The Oxbow) from Cole after seeing it in the National Academy of Design annual exhibition of 1836, associating it with his own Christian values.

Town, Ithiel (1784-1844)

Prominent American architect, and one of the original members of the National Academy of Design. Town and his partner, Andrew Jackson Davis, were leaders of the Greek and Gothic Revival movements during the nineteenth century. Town instructed Cole's nephew William Henry Bayless in architectural drawing and unsuccessfully competed against Cole for the design of the Ohio State House. Town's firm designed the Wadsworth Atheneum in the Gothic Revival style for Cole's patron Daniel Wadsworth. Cole painted The Architect's Dream in 1841 for Town, who ultimately rejected the painting because it was "exclusively architectural."

Trumbull, Col. John (1756-1843)

Soldier in the Revolutionary War and an American history painter best known for The Declaration of Independence (1786-97), Trumbull also acted as president of the American Academy of Fine Arts from 1816-25. He bought one of Cole's early landscape paintings in 1825 and is quoted as saying, "This youth has done at once, and without instruction, what I cannot do after fifty years practice." Trumbull went on to introduce Cole to many other important patrons, including his nephew-in-law Daniel Wadsworth and to the artist Asher B. Durand. See also Asher B. Durand's engraving John Trumbull.

Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851)

British landscape painter working in both oil and watercolor, whose pictures greatly impressed Cole when he viewed them on his first trip to Europe in 1829-1831. Turner, like Cole, sought to incorporate mythological and historical events into his work, which is often defined by its dramatic effects of light and color. Cole viewed Turner's Dido Building Carthage, or the Rise of the Carthaginian Empire (1815) in his London studio in 1829, later alluding to it in his The Course of Empire: Consummation (1835-1836).