Thomas Cole American: Mount Etna from Taormina, 1843

I choose this piece because the volcano in the background made me think of Mt. Rainer looming over Seattle. It is remarkable that the artist was able to create a sense of depth and grandiose in this piece. I like how the artist included natural and manmade aspects into this painting. At first glance I thought the arches in the rocks were naturally caused by flowing water which got me thinking about the geologic history of this area. After closer inspection I noticed the remains of columns and realized that the arches were man made. It makes you wonder who once lived here and why they left the place to be reclaimed by nature.

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