The Course of Empire

Thomas Cole (1801 – 1836) painted these in 1835 – 1836.  The originals are in the New York Historical Society
The Course of Empire
Savage

Pastoral or Arcadian

Consummation

Destruction

Desolation

There is the moral of all human tales;

 ‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
First freedom and then Glory – when that fails,
Wealth, vice, corruption – barbarism at last.
And History, with all her volumes vast,
Hath but one page…

                                            —    Lord Byron Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

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