Temple of Segesta: Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole: Temple of Segesta

English-born American painter Thomas Cole paints in 1843 the Temple of Segesta, outside the ancient Sicilian city of Segesta. Set in an expansive landscape under an azure Mediterranean sky, an artist in the right foreground makes a sketch of the temple. This painting is art about art – the temple inspires the artist in the picture, as it inspired Cole, but also the painting itself inspires in us an awe of the classical world. However, the fact that a local man on a mule approaches the artist also highlights a meeting of the artistic and the everyday, the labour of the body and of the brain.

Thomas Cole’s Temple of Segesta is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

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