Rise and Fall of States

With the news of the collapse of the brokerage Bear Stearns, the pending collapse of Countrywide Mortgages, and other meltdowns sure to follow, the world financial system is currently in more dire straits than most believe. It reminded me of this series of paintings by Thomas Cole–the English-born American painter–titled “Course of the Empire”. He chose something from Byron (the poet, not my next door neighbor) to describe the series:

There is the moral of all human tales;
‘This but the same rehearsal of the past

First Freedom, and then Glory: when that fails
Wealth, vice, corruption

Notice the mountain in the background in each painting…

cole_savage1.jpg

The Savage State

cole2.jpg

The Pastoral State

cole_3.jpg

Consummation of Empire

cole_4.jpg

Destruction

cole_5.jpg

Desolation

Advertisements