Friday, November 23, 2007

The Voyage Of Life

When it comes to art, Thomas Cole's painting series, "The Voyage Of Life" has long been one of my favorites.

The first painting in the series is an illustration of infancy. If you blow up the picture, you can see the child in the bottom of the boat. There is a guardian angel standing in the boat with the child. This angel is present in each of the pictures in the series. The figurehead on the prow of the boat symbolizes time.

The second painting in the series is an illustration of youth. In this picture, you can see that the youth is still in the same boat, traveling down the same river, (The River Of Life) and that the same angel stands near him. However, in this picture, the guardian angel is farther off and the youth has turned his head in another direction. He is chasing his "Castle In The Air," the shimmering illusion seen in the skies.

The third painting in the series is an illustration of manhood. The man is passing through wild rapids here, symbolizing the difficulty of manhood. The guardian angel is still present, as you can see, but he\she is far away and only watching from the clouds. However, far up ahead, you can see the sea through the rocks.

The fourth and last painting in the series is an illustration of old age. I don't think it needs much explanation:)

There's a lot more symbolism in these paintings that I didn't cover so if you'd like to find out more about them, I'd suggest that you read up on them here. Also, the pictures aren't nearly so beautiful when they are small like this. They are so much lovelier when they are big. The real paintings cover an entire wall! I'd sure love to see them like that!

Seize The Day!
StrongJoy

2 comments:

Anya said...

Wow. What stunning paintings. I've never seen those before!

Okay... the quote about our culture is from a book called The Movie-goer by Walker Percy. It's not the most "clean" reading, as a warning. (Probably not as bad as the unabridged Canterbury Tales, though!)

The faults of United States are remarkably similar to those of Rome in some ways... don't know much about where you live, but I remember discussing similarites between the U.S. and Rome at youth group about six years ago -- it was scary then and it's even scarier now.

Accept my congradulations on being able to play the guitar! I have many friends who can but have never put the effort into it myself. The hilarious thing about that song is that it's by a friend of mine (which is why I was mostly joking about copyright on it...) and he put a comment on my xanga saying, "I love that song." Well duh. I fervently hope that he remembers that he wrote it. :)

Anonymous said...

HELLO my dearest! I realized I hadn't been here in awhile so I thought I would come over! I loved your post. The pictures are intriguing!

I miss you. I got your email. I will will reply soon (no seriously!)

Love you,
Jocelyn (who is signed into mom's acct)