Amon Carter print details

The Hunter's Return

Thomas Cole (1801–1848)

Object Details

  • Date

    1845

  • Medium

    Oil on canvas

  • Dimensions

    40 1/8 X 60 1/2

  • Collection Names

    Paintings, Collection Highlights

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number

    1983.156

Object Description

Depictions of American scenery served as a backdrop for Cole’s storytelling. In this paradise-like, sun-filled valley, a multigenerational family have cultivated the land and seemingly live in harmony with nature. The painting features good fortune—a father and son returning from a successful hunt. The charming narrative is only one part of the tale, however.

In his 1836 “Essay on American Scenery,” Cole lamented the “ravages of the axe” that were destroying the wilderness. He worried “that with the improvements of cultivation the sublimity of the wilderness should pass away.” The fallen trees in the foreground likely signal Cole’s concerns, though many of his patrons were responsible for industrialization, and Cole was eager to please them with his work.

Tombstone Data

Object Copyright

Additional details

Location: On View