Thomas Cole (1801-1848), today remembered as the “founder” of the Hudson River School, influenced two generations of American landscape painters. His followers- -Asher B. Durand, Frederic Church, Albert Bierstadt, among others--lauded expansion and material progress. By contrast, Cole lamented the destruction of nature that progress entailed. His paintings and writings, which celebrate a nature untouched by modernization, went against the mainstream opinion of his time. Today they seem prophetic.
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