He was sent to Christ's Hospital in 1817, and after finishing school in 1823, he worked as a clerk for Francis Palgrave and subsequently as a sub-commissioner for the Record Commission. Cole worked as a record transcriber but found time to study watercolour painting with David Cox and display sketches at the Royal Academy. He became well known for his paintings of English country houses and gardens.
Cole died in London in 1848 at the age of 39. But even though he only lived until age 39, he left an impressive number of works that still exist today.
You may have seen some of his paintings in books or magazines about English country houses. There are also several museums around the world that contain pieces by Henry Cole: the Henry Cole Museum in Derby, England, the National Trust's Holkham Hall in Norfolk, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
He painted views of houses and gardens, but he also did portraits, including one of George IV when he was Prince of Wales. There is also a self-portrait in the British Museum.
After Cole's death, others continued to paint pictures of English country houses, but none of them came close to his popularity until the turn of the 20th century. Then interest in all things aristocratic began to rise again, and with it the demand for fine art prints of historic homes.
The Public Record Office Act of 1838 established the record office, and Cole became one of four senior assistant-keepers. He rang a huge number of records at the Carlton House Riding School, where he was assigned on November 2, 1841. This was after which he moved to the Home Office in Great George Street.
He resigned from this post in April 1849 after disagreements with the Home Secretary, Robert Peel, but continued to work at the record office until he retired in 1855. After his retirement, he remained in London and kept himself busy by writing articles for newspapers and magazines about old cases that had been brought up before the courts. He died in 1865.
Cole's work at the record office involved examining all the available evidence related to various crimes that had been committed years ago, and using this information to determine how they were punished. His job was very difficult because many people back then didn't keep good records of their business dealings; therefore, it was common practice not to file lawsuits or complaints, which made it hard for investigators like Cole to figure out who was responsible for what offense.
Often times, victims would lose interest in the case once they realized there was no way of getting money out of the offender, so they wouldn't press charges.
Cole got work as an engraver early on. As a painter, he was mostly self-taught, depending on books and studying the work of other painters. Cole began his career as a portrait painter in 1822, and subsequently moved his concentration to landscapes. Cole sold five paintings to George W. Bush in New York. He also painted scenes from American history and folklore.
In addition to portraiture and landscape painting, Cole worked as a teacher and art critic. He is considered one of the first American realists.
He exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1830 to 1847, where he met Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and John James Audubon. It was here that he made many friends who would help him get commissions for paintings from various people and organizations.
In 1848, Cole moved to Western Pennsylvania and established himself in Covington, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh. Here, he ran a school where students could study art free of charge. He also gave lectures on art and archaeology. In addition, he wrote articles for publications such as The North American Review and The Journal of Commerce.
Thomas Cole's most famous painting is called "The Course of Empire," which shows part of the city of New York before it was built up. This painting was done in 1835 - six years before the arrival of any Europeans to what is now called Alaska.
Thomas Cole was born in Lancashire, England, and migrated to Steubenville, Ohio, with his family in 1818. As a child, he worked as an apprentice with a wood engraver in England and learnt the fundamentals of painting from Stein, a traveling portrait painter. In 1833, at the age of twenty-one, Cole moved to New York City to work as an artist for the Hudson River School of Painting. There, he became friends with other prominent artists including Henry David Thoreau and John Muir.
During his time in New York, Cole developed a style of his own that combined elements of European art with American scenery. He traveled across the country making drawings and paintings that were later used as illustrations for books written by authors such as Washington Irving and Herman Melville. In 1840, Cole moved back to Ohio and began teaching drawing at Kenyon College before returning to New York City in 1844. There, he joined other artists in establishing the National Academy of Design, a school dedicated to promoting the arts and education. He served as its first president.
In addition to being one of the most important artists of the early American landscape tradition, Cole is also considered one of the founders of the modernist movement due to his use of abstract concepts such as "truth to nature" and "reality vs. appearance".