A major reexamination of the father of the Hudson River School in relation to his European roots and travels Thomas Cole (1801-1848), arguably the greatest American landscape artist of his generation, is presented here in a new light: as an international figure, born in England, and in dialogue with the major landscape painters of the age, including J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. Cole traveled in Europe from 1829 to 1832., Thomas Cole's Journey reexamines his seminal works of 1832-36-notably The Oxbow and Course of Empire-as a culminating response to his experiences of British art and society and of Italian landscape painting. These, combined with Cole's passion for the American wilderness and his horror of the industrial revolution in Britain, led him to create works that offer a distinctive, even dissident, response to the economic and political rise of the United States and the ecological changes then underway. This groundbreaking book also discusses Cole's influence on later artists, from Frederic Edwin Church to Ed Ruscha.