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A Romantic study of America in the European landscape style The painting of “The Oxbow” is on its surface merely a landscape portrayal of a meandering river that folds back upon itself in the shape of a bow or oxtail.Today, the work hangs in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the section of the museum devoted to American Romanticism.The American painter Thomas Cole originally painted the work 1836.This was during the end of the Romantic period of art in Europe, but only the beginning of the flourishing of the Romantic Movement in American art.

The painting’s style, perspective, and ideological themes makes use of European aspects of the landscape tradition and Romantic ideology, yet ultimately its rendition of these themes is quintessentially and uniquely American in the ways that it portrays the themes of humanity versus nature and the wilderness versus In gazing upon the painting, the viewer notes that the painting is situated in its perspective in such a fashion, in traditional Romantic style, that the individual gazer’s perspective has predominance over the natural subject.The subject of the oxtail of the river is situated at a distance, with trees closer to the viewer’s line of perspective.Thus, the act of gazing upon the river is given equal importance to the actual depiction of nature itself.Thus, the Romantic stress upon nature, but specifically humanity’s perception and interpretation of nature thus is at the forefront of the organization of the painting. The painting’s organization ultimately asks not what is nature, but what transpires when humanity gazes at and interacts with nature. Furthermore, the apparent random organization of a natural body of water is not present in “The Oxbow.

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“In Romantic renderings of art, but in American Romanticism in particular, “Romanticism set up opposition to the Neo-classic insistence on order and hierarchy b…