cole gallery

Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
“The Fountain of Vaucluse” (1841)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas, United States

Vaucluse, which is in the southern French region of Provence, was the final home of the Italian poet Petrarch, one of the first great Renaissance writers. In 1841, on his second European tour, Cole memorialized Petrarch’s home in this painting, complteted in Rome from sketches done on-site. Once in the studio, he exaggerated the scale of the cliffs in this scene to magnify the drama, and he reconstructed Petrarch’s castle, which in actuality lay in ruins.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848)
“The Titan’s Goblet” (1833)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, United States

“The Titan’s Goblet” has been called a “picture within a picture” and a. “landscape within a landscape”: the goblet stands on conventional terrain, but its inhabitants live along its rim in a world all their own. Vegetation covers the entire brim, broken only by two tiny buildings, a Greek temple and an Italian palace. The vast waters are dotted with sailing vessels. Where the water spills upon the ground below, grass and a more rudimentary civilization spring up.

Recognized as a unique artwork, “The Titan’s Goblet” was the only pre-20th-century American painting included at the Museum of Modern Art’s “Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism” exhibition of 1936.

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10 Trickiest Trompe L’oeils in Summer Gallery Shows

The practice of tricking viewers to think an artwork is something else dates back to antiquity, but it never gets old. Indeed it’s one of the top trends of the summer art season, judging by the number of gallery shows featuring objects that flaunt mad technical skills–and a deadpan sense of humor–to make you do that double-take. See if you can guess the materials of these trompe l’oeil works currently on view in Chelsea and the Lower East Side.

From top: David Adamo, “Untitled (orange peel),” 2014, bronze, at Kai Matsumiya; Nicolas Party Blackam, “Stone (orange),“ 2012, acrylic on stone, at Salon 94 Bowery; Hannah Cole, "Safety Fence,” 2015, acrylic on canvas, at The Lodge Gallery; Bill Adams, “Balls,” 2015, clay, acrylic, and marker, at Kerry Schuss; Matthias Merkel Hess, 3 of his “5 Gallon Bucket,” 2015, stoneware, at Salon 94 Freemans; Martha Friedman, “Loaf 1,” 2010, cast rubber, at The Hole; Leslie Wayne, “Paint Rag 57 (Adinkra),” 2015, oil on panel, at Mixed Greens; Lauren Seiden, “Cloaked,” 2015, graphite on paper, at Louis B. James; Bertozzi and Casoni, “Cestino della discordia,” 2012, glazed ceramic, at Sperone Westwater; Sarah Harrison, “Rug 13,” 2015, oil on panel, at Mixed Greens.