Contents and Location of the Artwork

An immediate look at this masterpiece, you can quickly notice an elderly man with a fishing rod heading back to the house from the fishing boat in the foreground. In the middle ground, a woman and children are standing at the door looking towards the approaching man. A feeling of family happiness and calm is evoked immediately. At the background, there is evidence of receding hills, cliffs and mountains with forest skirts surrounding the house. A depiction of a family living in a cocoon, separated from all other civilisation. Furthermore, the elements of the landscape blend in perfectly to contrast the house from the rest of the background.

Techniques used by Thomas Cole

While painting Home in the Woods, he utilized romanticism as a technique. Romanticism involves the use of non-unifying factors or subject matter to create a painting. Evidenced in the painting, Thomas Cole utilized the use of highly-detailed landscapes and its peaceful beauty. The outcome of this technique is that feelings, emotions, fervour and imagination are evoked.

The Planning and Materials used in the Artwork

Thomas Cole generally used expressive brushwork and radiant colours to express his love for nature, with a preference for shapes and curving lines, which enabled him to depict the element of perspective and receding objects in the painting. From making use of radiant colours and non-restricted brushwork, he was able to achieve the feeling of beauty, freshness and power of nature.

Artists and Paintings related to this Work

Home in the Woods is painting that inspired and was inspired by other artists and paintings. Through this painting, Thomas Cole inspired the likes of Jasper Francis Cropsey, who painted the Fisherman House in 1877. Through this work, Jasper was able to pay homage to the predecessor for being the founding father of the movement. Another similar work by Jasper is the House in the Forest painting, whose composition and contrast was evenly done.

Some of the great names that influenced Thomas Cole's work were Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) and Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886). Both of them were affiliated to Thomas Cole through the Hudson River School, which was America's first fraternity of artists. Church was the most accomplished painter from the school while Durand, who was the older contemporary, rose through the ranks to become the leader of New York Landscape Printers.