Thomas Cole (1801-1848), though born in Lancashire, where he was apprenticed to a textile designer and engraver, is best known as a member of the American "Hudson River" school. After arriving in Philadelphia as a 19-year old, Cole learned wood engraving, and later portrait painting, before moving to New York and discovering his metier as a landscape artist. He travelled and studied in Europe between 1829 and 1832: on his return he painted a series of allegorical paintings which were reproduced as engravings and made him financially secure. A second trip to Europe was, unhappily, unsuccessful, and he returned to his mountain home in the Catskills and to his romantic and realistic landscapes. His last years were spent in ill health, and he died at the early age of 47.