"It has not been in vain: the good, the enlightened of all ages and nations have found pleasure and consolation in the beauty of the rural earth. Prophets of old retired into the solitudes of nature to wait the inspiration of heaven. It was upon Mount Horeb that Elijah experienced the mighty wind, the earthquake, and the fire; and, heard the small still voice. That voice is yet heard among the mountains!" -Thomas Cole, in an 1836 essay on American Scenery, first published in American Monthly Magazine.
Thomas Cole (1801-1848) was an American artist widely considered the father of the Hudson River School of landscape painting. His paintings are romantic scenes of nature, a setting Cole believed was the best opportunity for human beings to experience the divine, as well as the past.