Thomas Cole was born in England where he worked as an engraver, before emigrating to America aged 17. Famed as the principal behind the Hudson River School of American Landscape Painters, his initial efforts at landscape met were largely unsuccessful. This began to change in 1825 when he settled in New York and began to attract the recognition of Dunlap and Durand. Founding the National Gallery of Design in 1826, he returned to England in 1829 before travelling to Italy in 1831. Living in the former studio of the artist Claude in Italy, Cole became an admirer both of this artist and Turner. Cole's own work however, has a romance to it not shared by these artists and shares more with Cole's contemporary, Martin than any other. Much of his work is informed by the American Wilderness and is possessed of a visionary-like quality, for example in the series 'Voyage of Life'.